The economy is becoming more globalized, mobilized and remote with the passing of each year, as trends such as BYOD and the Internet of Things have revolutionized the ways in which organizations and consumers function. No longer is the personal computer enough to help employees get through the day - workers are now expecting access to the most cutting-edge devices and applications available, along with fast and reliable mobile broadband network access.

As such, decision-makers in virtually every industry and sector around the globe have had to take more rapid steps toward managing, optimizing and securing their mobile operations, and this has been no easy task. Many will struggle to actually see gains in productivity due to overly restrictive policies, while others will fail at protecting client and corporate data and systems from the myriad threats that abound on the World Wide Web.

Security in the age of mobility is complicated, but nothing good every came easy, especially in business. Leaders cannot balk at these trends and expect to remain competitive, relevant and efficient today or in the future, and reaching optimal outcomes is often a simple matter of choosing the right services and solutions. For example, email encryption that can be used on mobile devices will often cover a major security vulnerability in one fell swoop, as hackers have increasingly targeted these forms of communications.

In the coming years, the most successful businesses will likely be the ones that maximize the control of data and systems in light of more diverse devices accessing the network, while simultaneously ensuring an end-user-centric policy is in place to boost productivity. This balance will only come after decision-makers have conducted diligent, thorough research and provisioned all the tools necessary to get the job done on a consistent basis.

More guidance to come
Awareness and education are two of the greatest, most prolific weapons against data breaches, especially when it comes to enterprise mobility. CSO Online recently reported that the National Institutes of Standards and Technology put forth a call to action among security professionals, looking to gather more relevant and timely information that will help create new rules and guidance for business leaders to digest.

NIST is one of many public agencies in the United States to try and support businesses and consumers in their efforts to responsibly and productively use the technologies that are available today. According to the news provider, one of the big issues that the organization recently tackled was the process of evaluating third-party mobile applications, as this has been a traditionally problematic area of mobile management.

Applications are far more numerous and diverse than devices in virtually any office, and considering how quickly they can be downloaded and put into use in the workplace, they need to be a focus of security strategies to say the least. Apps are also generally used for core communications functions such as email, file sharing and social media, which will put sensitive data at risk when not properly managed.

CSO Online went on to note that NIST's latest work will pertain specifically to the Android and iOS operating systems that account for a majority of devices in use around the globe today, and that it will be made available in the form of a document for businesses to use upon completion.

Alternative considerations
When it comes to any type of IT security strategy, proactive, intelligent and comprehensive planning will most often separate the winners from the losers, and this is the same song and dance when looking specifically at enterprise mobility. Even one small vulnerability such as a software flaw can lead to major issues for any company, while an errant unencrypted email can wreak similar havoc.

ITProPortal recently listed several recommendations for business leaders who want to take a more structured, effective approach to mobile security, affirming that the first step is to identify the needs and objectives of the business to guide the creation of policies. Once these matters are well-understood, alignment of technologies and support that helps to reduce the risk of security breaches and drive productivity will be a far easier task.

According to the source, companies should never underestimate the power of training investments, as the workforce is almost always going to represent the biggest threat to security. Employee errors are among the most common causes of information exposure, and simple education can quickly reduce this threat at a low cost.

As a note, any company that is covered by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act should be leveraging HIPAA email solutions, along with secure data center services and other tools to maintain compliance. When choosing a proven provider of these solutions to partner with, organizations will be taking a major step in the right direction toward optimal BYOD performance.