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Back up mobile data effectively with these five tips

Mobile data backup should not be treated like a traditional backup. These guidelines will help your organization to better protect its mobile devices.

With the proliferation of mobile devices and the bring your own device trend in the workplace, mobile backup is more important than ever. Here are five areas where organizations could easily slip up with their strategy to back up mobile data.

Ensure all devices are covered by the backup policy

Any device capable of connecting to the corporate network should be included in the backup regime. This means laptops and servers, but also smartphones and tablets, both of which are capable of content creation. IT organizations may mistakenly exclude some platforms when they back up mobile data, thinking they contain no corporate information.

Choose the right product

It's all too easy to think organizations can back up mobile data using traditional backup software; however, many of these products assume that the endpoint device being backed up has both a permanent and good connection to the corporate network. In fact, mobile devices are likely to connect infrequently and on unsecured networks, so they need a different approach to back up to static devices. IT organizations should not use traditional software to manage the mobile backup process.

Ensure data is encrypted in flight

Many mobile users may only be able to connect through public or unsecured corporate guest networks. Data should always be encrypted in transit to protect against the inevitable use of unsecured network environments. The need for good security extends to managing data on remote devices, including implementing features such as remote wipe should a device be lost or stolen.

Don't depend on manual or individual solutions

It's tempting to pass the buck and expect individual users to manage their own backups, either using online services (Google Drive and Dropbox, for example) or an external hard drive. This is a recipe for disaster, as users don't have the time or the inclination (barring a few fastidious souls) to back up mobile data and validate their own backups. The enterprise should actively discourage unsecure backup processes.

Be consistent

Wherever data comes from, all users should know that they can restore their backups in a timely fashion. This means not using multiple procedures to solve the same problem. One of the biggest issues for restoring data is knowing when and how a backup is performed. Without a consistent process and tools to back up mobile data, finding that critical backup copy can become its own separate exercise.

Next Steps

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This was last published in September 2016

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