As devices are used for increasingly complex processes, data becomes more vulnerable to loss. To keep pace, IT and security executives are developing comprehensive mobile data security plans and implementing stronger technology solutions.
Fairview Health Services has a pressing need to give its workers access to information wherever they are: If the right data doesn't get to the right person instantaneously, someone could die, said Barry Caplin, vice president and chief information security official for the Minneapolis-based nonprofit healthcare organization.
To ensure that instant access, Fairview has about 3,500 mobile devices deployed through the organization, including both enterprise-issued and employee-owned devices of various brands and operating systems. The number is growing, as more of its 22,000 employees go mobile.
At the same time, Fairview must contend with the significant security concerns imposed not only by their own data privacy standards but by regulatory privacy requirements such as HIPAA. But as the organization's CISO, Caplin knows that 100% security doesn't exist.
"The perfect solution would be not to be mobile. But that's not practical," he said.
Governance challenges are growing as more employers adopt processes that allow mobile devices to perform work tasks. Workers no longer use devices to just check emails and their calendars. As devices are used for increasingly complex processes, data becomes more vulnerable to loss. To keep pace, IT and security executives must develop comprehensive mobile security postures and implement stronger technology solutions to face the new governance challenges.
Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. That's because organizations must develop high-level ideas that focus on people and processes first, Caplin said.
"There is a lot in security that's conceptually simple, but the operational, the boots-on-the-ground stuff is very complex," Caplin said. "We can't just slap on a solution because if it doesn't mesh with how people work day to day, then it's not going to work."