IT Challenge #8 – Mobility and Data Security
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
by Lou Bartlett
In June, we hosted another installment in our webinar series about the digital workplace. This webinar was about catering to the mobile workforce; the continually changing nature of work makes it vital for organizations to adapt to the new ways employees do their jobs. We have already come a long way from working regular office hours (i.e., simply doing the job from 9.00 to 5.00). The arrival of the Internet in the office environment has fundamentally changed how we conduct business. We have instant access to data, so everything moves much quicker. We use email versus telephone or physical mail. The common denominator is instant availability. Much like our personal lives, office life today moves fast.
These changes in business life have led to people working remotely or working flexible hours. No longer do we have to be physically present in an office to access its resources. With mobile devices, we can be online at any location we choose. With such flexibility comes both freedom and risk. The aforementioned webinar series focuses on making certain company resources, such as print and scan, available 24/7 for employees at any location. More importantly, the series talks a lot about protecting data. Here are some reasons why data protection is so vital within the digital workplace, not just for print and scan but for the use of all company resources.
There are a number of different workplace scenarios, each facing its own challenges and potential risks:
- Remote workers; This group accesses company resources while they are not on the company network. Such access happens at home, but also at airports, coffee shops, etc. When connected to a network outside the company walls, any data being accessed could potentially be shared with others as well.
- Personal and business applications; Employees install privately used applications and bring them into the work environment. A prime example is social media applications like Facebook and Instagram. These applications are often accessed while users are connected to the corporate network. While transmitting, viewing, or downloading information over the corporate network, the organization could risk getting hacked or falling victim to a virus.
- BYOD policies; Employees are no longer issued a standard set of company devices. They now have a choice of what equipment they use to do their jobs, including their own personal laptops, mobile phones or tablets. Much like the second scenario, such policies can result in the company network being exposed to potential threats which result in data breaches or shutdowns.
- Travelling employees; Whilst the ones listed above are all general concerns, we also wanted to include an important one specific to printing. People working in unknown offices often have a hard time accessing a printer nearby. They either end up involving the helpdesk or asking a colleague to assist. The latter situation would expose data to a potential unauthorized user and could be considered a violation of data protection regulations.
Although technology has altered the way employees do their jobs, the means of interacting with information have largely remained the same. Yes, a mobile worker might email information to another stakeholder or even send links to certain types of information via text link. But depending on the nature of your business, the most appropriate means of sharing information may be the printed page.
All of the scenarios listed above raise concerns when it comes to printing files. LRS secure printing solutions include an end-user self-service printer portal that allows travelling employees to quickly identify and install a printer. Encryption can protect data in motion to avoid unauthorized users from accessing this data. Mobile print can both help remote or travelling employees to quickly release documents to a device. It is also a key component for BYOD or guest printing. And to increase security, iBeacon support can be used to only allow employees to release print jobs when they are within a certain proximity of a printing device. The highest level of security comes with secure pull printing. The user must authenticate at a printing device and a record of what was printed and by who is then stored in an audit log.
If you are interested in learning what LRS can do to support your transition to the digital workplace, please contact our team of professionals for a free consultation. Or alternatively you learn more by watching the recorded webinars for the digital workplace and supporting mobile workers.
Other articles in the IT challenges series:
IT Challenge #7 – SAP Printing
IT Challenge #6 – Paper waste
IT Challenge #5 – Cost efficient printing
IT Challenge #4 – Troubleshooting printing problems
IT Challenge #3 – Windows Print Server Updates
IT Challenge #2 – Printer mapping in VDI environments
IT Challenge #1 – Printer mapping in Windows environments