Mobile Device Security With Virtual Private Networks

Empowering employees to work remotely is great for productivity, but raises challenges for keeping corporate data secure. Requiring employees to use virtual private networks (VPNs) is a key step to take in protecting your data, but there are several mobile-specific considerations to be aware of.

VPN Limitations for Mobile Device Users

VPNs work by creating a “tunnel” between the user’s computer and the VPN server. Because traffic in this tunnel is encrypted, it’s protected against spying and prevents hackers from reading your data even if the device is using an unprotected Wi-Fi connection.

When the remote user is working from their desktop computer at home, VPNs are a great solution. However, when the remote user is working from their mobile device, and they are moving from location to location, there are challenges that not all VPNs are able to handle.

One issue manifests as problems when switching between networks, whether from one 4G network to another or between 4G and Wi-Fi. The VPN connection may be lost, and not all VPN software can transparently re-establish the link. There may also be problems due to the physical limitations of small mobile devices, including limited battery life, memory, and computational power.

Selecting VPN Providers

There are many free VPN services out there, but free isn’t always best. Some free VPN providers may not even encrypt traffic. Others use libraries that track users. Neither is good for privacy or protecting your data. It’s important to make sure the provider uses anonymous DNS servers, doesn’t log user connections, and encrypts all data.

Mobile VPNs are VPN solutions designed to address the challenges specific to mobile devices. They typically handle roaming without losing connections and use compression to provide better performance. Designed for the small memory and CPU available on mobile devices, a mobile VPN can use less power than a conventional VPN and is less affected by device battery limitations.

Provide Complete Mobile Device Security

Requiring mobile device users to connect via a VPN, particularly one designed for mobile devices, address one piece of the mobile security challenge. Use mobile device management or enterprise mobility management software to get complete control over the security issues of these devices. The VPN protects the data your employees access, while those other tools ensure that only authorized users are able to connect via mobile devices and that they use only authorized applications.

Prescient Solutions offers complete mobility support services to businesses and organizations in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Our mobile support covers the entire lifespan and management of these devices, including provisioning, security, and device management. Contact us to learn how to empower users to safely use their mobile devices through VPNs and other mobile security solutions.

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