Enabling remote workers, protecting business data and mitigating mobile threats in the Everywhere Enterprise

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work and accelerated the already growing remote work trend. In March, the traditional office environment transformed to an ‘Everywhere Enterprise’ practically overnight. In the distributed Everywhere Enterprise, work takes place everywhere, data resides anywhere, and mobile devices provide access to everything.

Countries are still moving in and out of localized lockdowns to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus and global employees are still being urged to work from home. But even when it does become safe to return to the workplace, employees are in no rush to head back to the office. In fact, we recently surveyed 1,200 workers across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand and discovered that more than 80% of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time. It’s clear that the Everywhere Enterprise is here to stay.

At the same time, the Everywhere Enterprise has created new security challenges for IT teams by further dissolving the network perimeter. Employees are using their mobile devices more than ever before to connect with others, interact with a variety of cloud-based applications and services, and get work done. In fact, nearly three-quarters (72%) of employees agreed that mobile devices have been vital to ensuring their productivity during the lockdown period.

However, many of these employees are not prioritizing security as they work from anywhere. Our study found that one-third of workers (33%) consider IT security to be a low priority. And nearly half of global employees (43%) don’t know what a mobile phishing attack is. With so many employees unaware of the cybersecurity landscape and threats to their mobile devices, businesses risk enabling cybercriminals to take control of mobile devices that have access to business-critical data.

Unfortunately, malicious actors are aware of these security gaps in the Everywhere Enterprise and increasingly targeting mobile devices with sophisticated attacks. Mobile devices are appealing targets for hackers because the mobile user interface prompts users to take immediate actions, while limiting the amount of information available. Plus, users are often distracted when on their mobile devices, making them more likely to fall victim to attacks. Organizations must urgently secure all mobile devices, apps and users to stop cyberattacks bringing down their corporate networks.

So, how can IT departments secure mobile devices, apps and users in the Everywhere Enterprise? Organizations should look to implement a mobile-centric zero trust security approach to ensure that only authorized users, devices, apps, and services can access business resources in a “work from everywhere” world. 

As a first step, organizations should enrol all devices with access to business resources in a unified endpoint management (UEM) platform. With MobileIron UEM, organizations can quickly and easily onboard devices and provision them over the air with the apps, settings, and security configurations needed to protect any iOS, macOS, Android and Windows 10 endpoint across the digital workplace.

Next, companies should build upon MobileIron UEM with MobileIron Threat Defense (MTD) to protect against device, network and application level threats, including phishing. MTD offers on-device and cloud-based phishing URL database lookup to detect and remediate phishing attacks across corporate email, text and SMS messages, instant messages, social media and other apps that enable link sharing. With a 100% user adoption rate, all endpoints are instantly protected against malicious attackers with MobileIron MTD.

Last, but not least, MobileIron’s Zero Sign-On (ZSO) solution adds in conditional access, which can detect if a device is not a Mobileiron-registered device or if the environment does not have MTD running on it, and block access to a system. ZSO also includes passwordless MFA, which turns a secure mobile device with biometrics into the user ID and eliminates the need for passwords.

To download a complimentary copy of our Everywhere Enterprise survey report, please visit here.

Brian Foster

Senior Vice President of Product Management

About the author

As SVP of Product Management, Brian is responsible for overseeing product direction and innovation. Brian brings more than 25 years of experience to his role. Prior to MobileIron, Brian founded a startup in the identity management space. Before that, he was SVP of information services at Neustar, the leader in identity resolution. At Neustar, Brian’s teams were responsible for solutions in marketing services, risk and fraud, registries, and security services. He also oversaw the product development and go-to-market operations. Prior to that, Brian was CTO at Damballa, a private company that discovered advanced threats running in enterprises and large internet service providers. As CTO, Brian was responsible for the advanced research, product strategy, and engineering operations.

Before Damballa, Brian was SVP of product management at McAfee. He oversaw McAfee's global product management functions and was responsible for over 80  enterprise and consumer products, generating more than $2B in revenue. Prior to joining McAfee, Brian was VP of product management at Symantec, where he oversaw product innovation for the enterprise endpoint. Brian has a BA in Economics from UCLA and completed the executive program in management from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.