A few years ago, the enterprise was abuzz with concerns about the security implications of the use of mobile devices by employees. Many IT folks wanted to restrict the use of mobile devices over which they had little control. While the media embraced BYOD as the next big thing, those tasked with maintaining the security of corporate data were less enthusiastic. History is on the side of the BYOD cheerleaders. Mobile devices are part of everyday life for almost everyone. The issue is not whether employees will use mobile devices for work, but how businesses can give them the tools to use mobile devices securely. Smartphones and tablets are fully integrated into our lives. They’re how we communicate, organize our time, and live our lives. They’re the vital, always present link to other people and to the data we need to get anything done. It’s natural that employees fully immersed in the mobile life will also turn to mobile for work. Attempts to limit the use of mobile devices in business are both counterproductive and shortsighted. Employees choose to use mobile devices because of the productivity benefits. The days of nine-to-five tied to a desktop machine in a cubicle are increasingly a thing of the past. Mobile devices empower employees to work more efficiently and more flexibly. What employer could object to that? Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that there are risks to employee’s use of mobile devices. Mobile device security is a serious issue. Employees with access to sensitive data are a juicy target for cyber-criminals seeking to infiltrate private networks. We’ve all heard the stories of innocent people accessing the web over coffee shop WiFi and having their private data snatched out of the air by the criminal sat at the next table. Mobile devices, with their ever-active wireless connections, are an even greater risk, especially if they have privileged access to a company’s private networks and data. Although mobile devices are a necessity for maximizing productivity in the modern work environment, it behoves businesses to give employees the tools to use their phones and tablets safely. One such tool is a mobile virtual private network. A VPN encrypts all communications between an employee’s mobile devices and the company’s internal networks and cloud applications. With a properly configured VPN, it’s impossible for a digital eavesdropper to access private information as employees work. In essence, a VPN extends the private company network so that it encompasses mobile devices. Tools like mobile VPNs give companies the confidence to let employees work the way they want. And let’s be clear, working the way they want isn’t a mere matter of preference or personal idiosyncrasy. Employees want to use mobile because mobile is how they work best. Tools matter and smart businesses empower employees with what they need to get the job done.