Mobile computing devices have become a crucial tool in today’s networked world. Businesses and individuals alike rely on mobile devices in order to remain reachable when out of the office or away from home.
While mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and Universal Serial Bus (USB) memory sticks have increased convenience, as well as productivity in the workplace, these benefits are not without risks.
Should the worst happen, and one of these devices get lost or stolen, not only is the employees personal information lost, but now everything from company emails to client contact information could potentially be unprotected.
This is why it is essential that proper risk management is applied, and security controls implemented in order to minimise the risks associated with these types of devices.
So how can you protect your devices?
- Focus on protecting the information, not the devices. Mobile phones are expensive but the data you have stored on them could end up costing you more in the long run. Look at where your data is being stored and assess what can be done to protect these areas.
- Always encrypt data on mobile phones. Critical information is often stored on these devises such as important telephone numbers, messages and private emails. To keep it safe, scramble it with encryption. This ensures that even if the mobile phone gets lost or stolen, a thief will be unable to access the information.
- Use mobile security software. For maximum security, treat business mobile phones as if they were computers in your company. Install security software on to them just as you would your office computer and this will protect the device from mobile phone viruses and – more importantly – can prevent against spam and other threats.
- Lost phones. Give employees the tools to find their devices if they go missing. One way to do that is to attach a digital alert/phone halo to company smartphones. These devices alert the owner when they are about to leave their device behind. With these products the user carries a small sensor/tag either in a wallet or on a key chain, the alarm sounds when the owner reaches a distance from their phone.
- Make sure your IT policies include mobile phones. It is surprising how many businesses don’t include mobile devises when writing up their security policy. Individuals who may have one phone for both business and personal assume their personal insurance with a mobile phone company will cover them for all eventualities but this is often not the case and needs to be looked into carefully.
- Always make sure all your staff protect their phones with strong passwords. If a mobile phone is lost or hacked, this will help keep the information on it secure.
- Be careful with Bluetooth. Many mobile phones come with Bluetooth switched on by default. This enables people nearby to pick up that phone’s Bluetooth signal and – potentially – connect to it. Turn it off if you don’t use it – or enable the security functions, so strangers can’t connect to it.
Because you are likely to be dealing with a variety of phones there will be unanticipated problems, but although there is no mobile security fail safe, with a small amount of planning and effort the investment in a multistep process should have protect your employees and your business against the worst headaches can be worth the time.
If you would like any more information or some free expert advice on how you can protect the mobile devices in your business, then please contact us on 0345 389 2310 or enquiry here and we will be happy to help. You can also visit our business mobile phones page for more information.