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    Mastering Mobile Security: MDM Essentials for Finance

    Mobile devices have become our constant companions, seamlessly integrating into both our personal and professional spheres.

    Whether it is interacting with colleagues, joining a Zoom meeting, or accessing crucial business documents, we all use a mobile device at some point. And this, unknowingly, introduces a plethora of security risks to organizations, especially finance companies.

    Finance companies deal with an unprecedented level of sensitive client data. Breaches of this data can lead to irreversible operational and reputational damage. Therefore, financial institutions must take proactive measures to manage all employee mobile devices and prevent the activity of cybercriminals that jeopardize their crucial business data.

    MDM Essentials for Finance
    Mobile Security for Finance with MDM

    This is where mobile device management (MDM) comes into the picture. Implementing the right MDM practices can help finance organizations evade mobile security threats and data breaches.

    In this blog, we will explore mobile device management, its features, benefits, and much more.

    Current Challenges Financial Services Face in Managing Devices

    The global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million[1]. However, financial companies lose approximately $5.9 million per data breach, which is 28% higher than the global average.

    The financial services industry faces unique challenges when it comes to adequate data protection. Many of them stem from the massive proliferation of mobile devices used by employees across an organization. 

    Here, we will look at the common challenges faced by financial institutions in managing such devices:

    Device Diversity and Fragmentation

    There was a time when Windows dominated the work environment. However, now, workplaces often include a mix of Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux-based mobile devices. Additionally, employees are using a variety of device types, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets, for enhanced convenience and easy project time management.

    Managing this diverse range of devices with varied operating systems, hardware specifications, and security features is a complex and resource-intensive task for a company’s IT administrators.

    BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policies

    A research report[2] claims that BYOD policies improve employee productivity by 34%. However, implementing BYOD programs has also introduced a new set of challenges for finance companies. These include security risks, compliance issues, increased vulnerability to malware, loss of control over hardware, and mobile fragmentation, among others.

    Lost or Stolen Devices

    Mobile devices are more susceptible to theft as opposed to traditional desktop computers. According to a study[3], employees are twice as likely to misplace their smartphones than to have them stolen.

    In any case, such lost or stolen devices can potentially compromise private financial data, especially if proper security measures aren’t in place. Managing the risk of data theft or loss is a huge challenge for financial companies at the moment.

    Data Security and Compliance Concerns

    The use of mobile devices for business tasks involves a high degree of risk. It can increase the likelihood of cybercrimes and data breaches compromising the company’s sensitive data. Consequently, the need for regulatory compliance also grows.

    Financial organizations must establish stringent security measures to ensure all connections are secure. There must be regulations in place that restrict unauthorized access to private company data. However, establishing these regulations can be challenging, considering the complexities of mobile data storage and access.

    Managing Applications

    Unofficial app downloads or system updates on business networks also present a significant challenge to financial companies. They expose their networks to attacks and vulnerabilities.

    Therefore, organizations need to establish certain low-threat apps that are permissible for business use. But again, managing the security of these mobile apps across varied platforms and versions requires continuous monitoring and updates, which is no easy feat for the IT department.

    Why Financial Services Need MDM? 

    Mobile device management (MDM) is the process of managing remote devices used in corporate environments. An MDM solution offers IT teams the means to effectively manage digital devices that employees use to accomplish work tasks. Even if there is a remote team working from different parts of the world, MDM software can seamlessly manage the team’s devices and monitor them under one network.

    MDM software can manage both enterprise-issued and BYO devices. Additionally, MDM can accommodate both device types into a single, unified dashboard.

    Image: Source

    Here, we will look at the top benefits of using MDM software for financial service organizations.

    1. Enhanced Security

    The use of MDM software is an excellent way to keep your business data protected, giving financial organizations complete control over confidential information. If an employee’s mobile device is stolen or lost, MDM can help to lock the device and wipe out all data remotely. This wiping and remote locking functionality keeps all data and devices well-secured.

    Additionally, MDM offers organizations control over mobile applications and additional functions. It can restrict access to fraudulent websites, keeping business data and applications safe from the risk of data breaches and malware.

    2. Reduced Operational Costs

    MDM supports the use of varied devices and operating systems. This enables businesses to embrace BYOD policies in the workplace, which, in turn, reduces device costs. Eliminating this massive cost from your financial organization brings down operating expenses and frees up funds for the core of your business.

    While these are personal mobile devices, MDM software’s wiping and remote locking functionalities can prevent the leakage of information. Additionally, mobile device management software lets you stay on top of each employee’s data usage and prevent costly behavior such as data overages.

    3. Application Control

    This is one of the most notable benefits of using MDM software. IT teams can automatically deploy applications to devices via custom enterprise app distribution methods or app stores. This ensures employees can access all the apps they need to perform their jobs efficiently.

    Additionally, application management enables IT teams to create blocklists that prevent the installation of unsanctioned or fraudulent apps. Also, application updates are automatically pushed, and each app’s usage is monitored for compliance, ensuring optimal outcomes.

    4. Effective Risk Management

    Financial institutions must ensure mobile security so that their confidential business data stays uncompromised. IT administrators can regularly patch and update every device’s operating system with an MDM platform, reducing security and compatibility issues.

    MDM software can also help establish certain measures, like passcode policies, which heighten security and prevent data theft. For instance, the use of strong and complex passwords can secure several high-risk applications. Also, IT teams can configure policies to block the copying of data between personal and business applications under BYOD management.

    5. Decreased downtime and deployment times

    MDM can help IT organizations reduce downtime by remotely monitoring and managing all mobile devices in real time. Just like an IoT solutions company offers predictive maintenance services, MDM software leverages data collection of device logs to identify and resolve problems before they escalate. This helps prevent device malfunctions or complete failures.

    The process of device provisioning also becomes easy with MDM software. Instead of having to install applications manually, phones and tablets can have applications and policies pushed to them. This means whenever a user powers on the device, it automatically gets enrolled, and an MDM profile is installed. After the user enters his credentials, he can directly access the company’s data and resources.

    Essential MDM Features for Financial Services

    Now, let’s look at the most essential MDM features that can help financial organizations effectively manage devices and safeguard their sensitive business data.

    BYOD Containerization

    Also known as sandboxing, this is a critical MDM feature for safeguarding vital financial information. With containerization, business applications and data are isolated from employee’s personal data. This prevents malicious user activity, mobile-based attacks, and even unintentional accidents from interacting with fraudulent applications that may compromise confidential data.

    Remote Wiping

    Image: Source

    As discussed above, remote wiping enables organizations to delete all business data from any device remotely. This feature comes in handy in case of a security breach or when a device goes missing. Remote wiping of all data ensures you prevent your sensitive company information from falling into the wrong hands.

    Device Location Tracking

    Along with remote wiping, your organization must be able to track a mobile device’s location in real time through MDM software. With GPS tracking, businesses can monitor mobile devices that contain critical information and even recover it in case it goes missing. Additionally, it helps to keep an eye on employees who try to sneak a device out of permissible zones.

    Device Troubleshooting

    Often, you may need to troubleshoot a device that stops functioning adequately. This is a crucial procedure to reduce business downtime. Many MDM software available nowadays enable organizations to troubleshoot devices remotely. IT support teams can examine and fix devices remotely from their management console without the need for any physical evaluation.

    OTA Distribution

    Over-the-air (OTA) distribution is an essential MDM feature that enables organizations to deliver configurations and management updates wirelessly. An effective MDM software is independent of physical connections to communicate with devices over a network.

    Choose Scalefusion to Stay Agile While You Go Mobile

    MDM has become an indispensable choice for financial institutions looking to secure their company’s data and prevent costly breaches. Implementing MDM not only safeguards your organization’s data but also brings significant cost savings, regardless of the type of personal devices used by your employees.

    An MDM solution like Scalefusion adds the element of both security and control to your mobility ecosystem. Experience Scalefusion through a free demo by contacting our experts. Get a 14-day free trial by signing up!

    References:
    1. IBM
    2. Frost & Sullivan
    3. Prey

    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane is an avid reader who loves writing about technology. She is an engineering graduate with 10+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for web-based startups.

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