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Vodafone and Samsung make hybrid work safe


Hybrid working is here to stay, including all additional complexities it brings for the IT teams expected to manage enterprise mobile devices.

The huge rise in cyber attacks targeting remote workers during the pandemic shows the growing threats. Organisations need to have enterprise-level security, manageability and support to deliver the full benefits of the evolving mobile workplace.

“Hybrid working and remote working are the future. We are not going to go back to what we were doing before. There’s been massive productivity gains and big benefits for businesses and individuals.”

Andy Deacon, Senior Manager, Cyber Security, Vodafone Business

What are the key elements of a secure modern mobile strategy and the benefits of an enterprise-wide approach?

Embrace hybrid working

Before 2020, just 5% of the UK worked from home, and about one-third had never worked from home, according to a report in the Financial Times. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, about 80% of the ICT sector, and nearly two-thirds of staff in professional and scientific services, work mostly or exclusively from home.

Attracting and retaining top talent means there is no going back to the office full time. According to research by the Office for National Statistics, 85% of people want a hybrid workstyle. The Financial Times report shows that about a quarter of British workers are threatening to quit rather than return to a five-day week in the office.

It’s not only the aftermath of the pandemic making remote working more popular – the next generation of employees is also driving the evolution of the workplace. The message is clear: employers must embrace hybrid working.

“A new generation has grown up with mobile devices and tablets. They expect to be able to access and do anything they need to do when they want to do it, and how they want to do it,” says Deacon.

“Those individuals are coming into the workplace and their expectations have not changed. Businesses must adapt to that talent because of how data is flowing, cloud connectivity and just how the world is working.”

Samsung and Vodafone Business can help by smoothing the path to hybrid working and tackling complexity.

“Samsung can make the configuration, the deployment, the updates, the testing, simple and done remotely. The range of devices that Samsung provides meets the needs of different working styles and budgets,” says Joe Walsh, director of B2B at Samsung Electronics.

Woman using laptop at home

Manageability and support

The Samsung Galaxy Enterprise Edition offers a range of mobile devices to suit every budget and user need, designed specifically with enterprise requirements in mind. Staff are empowered to work from wherever they need, which improves productivity and job satisfaction – and can cut costs.

“The upside you get from fluid working and having an ultra-secure mobile fleet doesn’t have to come at a ridiculous premium. Affordability is a major factor, and this can be achieved with Samsung and Vodafone Business,” says Walsh.

Affordability and support go hand in hand. With a guaranteed five-year period for security and maintenance updates and three-year enhanced support, businesses can get more value from their smartphones for longer. Devices are tested to ensure they are compatible with existing systems – another way to keep costs down.

Meanwhile, a fast setup process allows businesses to deploy at scale with zero-touch enrolment – further enhancing productivity and saving costs in administrative time. A Samsung Galaxy Enterprise Edition device comes preloaded with required apps, such as Office 365, and if there is a problem, Samsung provides a doorstop repair and exchange service by trained engineers.

Working culture

Walsh highlights that when working from home, your tech is your office, which puts pressure on IT departments to foster company culture remotely. “Culture is a holistic process that requires everyone’s input in an open discussion, which should be reflected in IT strategy,” says Walsh.

Galaxy Enterprise Edition smartphones include dual-SIM functionality so employees can use one device as their work and personal phone, keeping corporate data separate and secure. Employees can use separate numbers or the same number for business and personal use – functionality on the device allows a specific work profile to be created. There is no need for staff to use multiple devices.

In this way, organisations can ensure their enterprise mobile strategy not only fulfils the technical requirements of hybrid working, but also fosters a corporate culture that offers the optimum employee experience to do your job remotely.

“A successful mobile device strategy should focus on giving the IT team the control to manage, deploy and secure all those devices in their fleet, while allowing employees to be able to use the device as they need with little or no effect on useability. At Samsung we take this very seriously,” says Walsh.

By enforcing downloads of the latest security updates and patching overnight, for example, Samsung Galaxy Enterprise Edition does not rely on user goodwill to complete essential security tasks, which minimises the risk of making devices vulnerable.

“It’s the little things that actually make a big difference and eliminate large chunks of risk,” says Walsh.

Woman holding laptop and talking on phone outside

Knox Suite

Core to the secure manageability of enterprise devices is Samsung’s Knox Suite, a complete set of tools to secure, deploy and manage enterprise corporate mobile devices.

“Samsung has developed an open yet secure mobile device strategy whereby a device allows users to complete tasks, access, store and share data they need, whenever and wherever, but at the same time the device needs to be robust so that it protects the valuable data it contains,” says Walsh.

“All data and corporate policy are kept separate, and it is secured by Knox security, fostering a culture of openness and transparency in line with security.”

Deacon says the important message for organisations pursuing hybrid working with enterprise business mobile security is to get the right tools for the right job with the right security controls implemented, which then drives the business.

“It’s security as a business enabler in a whole range of different ways, whether that’s for talent attraction or a productivity boost, but it comes down to the right tools for the right job, and that’s where Samsung comes in, because it provides the right tools,” he says.

Walsh highlights how Samsung delivers strong mobile security from the chipset up. Samsung secures more than a billion devices globally and 70 million devices are managed daily.

“There are tens of thousands of businesses that rely on Knox Suite and Galaxy Enterprise Edition. We understand the importance of strong mobile security. Samsung provides a suite of business solutions all secured by Knox Suite and anchored in the chipset,” says Walsh.

“We 100% endorse a strong mobile security approach, which means make it simple, get the basics right and raise the profile of security when choosing what provider and what devices you go with.”

Making security easy

A managed enterprise mobile strategy focused on security and useability reduces the likelihood of a data breach in a climate of increased attempted cyber attacks on remote workers.

“Cyber criminals are targeting remote workers because there are holes in businesses’ security strategies. They are not monitoring devices and there are gaps because organisations have not fully embraced a zero-trust security strategy,” says Deacon.

Enterprise mobile devices must be easy to use if staff are to gain maximum benefit from them, which means security should not be excessively restrictive. “You have to have the right level of security for what you’re trying to protect and what you’re trying to do,” says Deacon.

Woman working outside using laptop

“If you make security too onerous and users have to jump through too many hoops to get access, they will naturally look for easier ways – not maliciously, but just because they’re trying to do their job in the simplest way.”

Organisations realise they must move to a zero-trust security approach – the risks of carrying on as before are not acceptable in the hybrid working era.

“Culture is important. People just need to stop and think and do the security basics such as setting PIN codes. The scams are the same. It’s the technology being deployed that’s different,” says Deacon.

While user education is vital, the Samsung Galaxy Enterprise Edition range provides advanced tools to make security as simple as possible for users.

“In the past year, there have been more cyber attacks than there were cumulatively in the past 15 years,” says Walsh. “It gives you an idea of the scale of the issue, but the point is about simplicity and basics. It’s the basics that trip organisations up. You must do them, or cyber criminals will pick the low-hanging fruit, which means your sensitive information and customer data.”

Organisations must ensure that employees also embrace enterprise business mobile security. However, as Deacon says, it should never be a carrot-and-stick approach because it could discourage employees from coming forward if there is a security breach. “You want employees to come to you with security concerns. Employees are your front line of defence. There should be a no-blame culture for reporting security problems, otherwise you end up with bigger data breaches because people worry they will be punished, for example if they click on a dodgy email attachment,” he says.

Choice and control

The imperative for organisations to enable hybrid working comes with an understanding of the elements of a secure enterprise mobile strategy, which must be fully adopted to enable a successful outcome for the enterprise and for employees.

“This is just the way business has to work moving forward,” says Deacon. With Samsung Galaxy Enterprise Edition, businesses can embrace hybrid working with more choice, greater control, increased reliability, improved simplicity and more value.

By choosing Vodafone Business, hybrid working is supported by fast, efficient and dependable connectivity with 99% UK coverage and 550,000 unique business customers across the UK. Walsh concludes: “Put the two leading companies together in Samsung and Vodafone Business, and a business gets the right tools for the right job at the right time.”

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