Gone are the days when the most sensitive information on an employee’s phone 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.
In order to protect your organization, there are a number of mobile device 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. It is important that employees understand the security risks inherent to mobile device use and how they can mitigate those risks. Well-informed, responsible users are your first line of defense 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.
- Keep the devices updated with the most current software and anti-virus program—Software updates to mobile devices often include patches for various 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.
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 cyber security strategies you can use to protect your businesses, contact Ollis/Akers/Arney Insurance & Business Advisors today.