Because of all they can offer, smartphones and tablet devices are essential to many professions’ daily operations. However, as use increases, it will become more and more important to ensure that security for these mobile devices is able to adequately protect you from new and existing threats.
The need for proper phone security is no different than the need for a well-protected computer network. Gone are the days when the most sensitive information on an employee’s mobile device was the names and phone numbers of their contacts. Now, a smartphone or tablet can be used to gain access to anything, including emails, stored passwords, and even proprietary company data. Depending on how your organization uses such devices, unauthorized access to the information on a smartphone or tablet could be just as damaging as a data breach involving a traditional computer system.
To protect your organization, there are several mobile security measures to consider:
Establish a mobile device policy
Before issuing mobile phones or tablets to your employees, establish a device usage policy. Provide clear rules about what constitutes acceptable use as well as what actions will be taken if employees violate the policy. Employees must understand the mobile security risks and how they can mitigate those risks. Well-informed, responsible users are your first line of defence against cyber attacks.
Establish a bring your own device (BYOD) policy
If you allow employees to use their personal devices for company business, make sure you have a formal BYOD policy in place. Your BYOD security plan should also include the following practices:
- Installing remote wiping software on any personal device used to store or access company data.
- Educating and training employees on how to safeguard company data when they access it from their own devices.
- Informing employees about the exact protocol they must follow if their device is lost or stolen.
Click here to download our Employer-Provided and Personal Electronic Device Usage Policies you can implement at your business.
Keep mobile devices updated with the most current software and anti-virus program
Software updates to devices often include patches for various mobile security holes, so it’s best practice to install the updates as soon as they’re available. There are many options to choose from when it comes to anti-virus software for mobile devices, so it comes down to preference. Some are free to use, while others charge a monthly or annual fee and often come with better support.
Back up device content regularly
Just like your computer data should be backed up regularly, so should the data on your company’s mobile devices. If a device is lost or stolen, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your valuable data is safe.
Protect against lost and stolen devices
Because of their size and nature of use, mobile devices are at an increased risk of being lost or stolen. Since most devices automatically store passwords in their memory to keep users logged in to email and other applications, having physical possession of the device is one of the easiest ways for unauthorized users to access private information.
To prevent someone from accessing a lost or stolen device, the phone or tablet should be locked with a password. The password should be time sensitive, automatically locking the phone out after a short period of inactivity. Most devices come with such security features built in, which is something you should consider before purchasing. Depending on your cell phone provider, there are also services that allow you to remotely lockdown or erase a device in the event that it is lost or stolen.
Because of their convenience, smartphones and tablet devices have become a universal presence in the modern business world. As usage soars, it becomes increasingly important to take steps to protect your company from mobile threats, both new and old.
For more mobile security strategies you can use to protect your business, contact Scrivens today.