Mobile devices are indispensable. Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets play a big part in everyday processes, especially for individuals and companies that value connection and convenience. But as the number of mobile devices used in business operations increases, so do the cyberthreats that target them. Be sure to follow these steps to safeguard company mobile devices.
Ensure mobile OS is up to date
The updates to Apple and Android operating systems (OS) improve overall user experience, but their most important function is to fix security vulnerabilities. Reduce your business’s exposure to threats by installing updates for all devices as soon as they become available. Don’t delay updates, as doing so gives cybercriminals ample time to exploit vulnerabilities on devices that run on an outdated OS.
Install business applications only
Downloading apps seems harmless. However, lenient policies on what should and shouldn’t be downloaded on company mobile devices could lead to staff installing non-business-related apps, many of which are notorious for malicious advertising codes and other threats. It’s imperative that employees download and install only business applications necessary for their work on their company-issued mobile devices.
Be careful when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks
Emergencies may compel your staff to use password-free Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airports, cafes, and other public places. Connecting to an open network can expose your confidential information and sensitive company data to cybercriminals connected to the same network.
You can avoid this by providing a practical internet data plan, preferably one that includes roaming services, for remote workers. And if connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is really necessary, using a reputable virtual private network (VPN) can help protect your sensitive data. A VPN creates a direct, secure connection for data from your end to your intended point on the internet.
Enable phone tracking tools
Losing a company-issued mobile device is unfortunate. Devices can be misplaced or stolen, but enabling Find My iPhone for iOS devices, GPS Phone Tracker for Android, or any device-tracking app helps users locate lost phones. Some also have the option to delete data on stolen devices. Downloading and setting up such an app takes only a few minutes and it will give you peace of mind knowing that even if your phone is lost or stolen, its contents will not be compromised.
Establish a Mobile Device Security Policy
Before issuing smartphones or tablets to your employees, establish a device usage policy. Provide clear rules about what constitutes acceptable use. Include what actions will follow if employees violate the policy. It is important that employees understand the security risks of smartphone use and the security measures they can take to mitigate those risks. Well-informed, responsible users are your first line of defense against cyber attacks.
Screen SMS carefully
SMS phishing can be used to trick you into clicking malicious links. Cybercriminals send messages purporting to be from someone you know, asking you to urgently disclose confidential information. Should you encounter such an SMS, you can either delete it or alert your IT department. You can also block unknown senders without even opening their messages.
Establish a Bring Your Own Device Policy
If you allow employees to use their personal devices for company business, make sure you have a formal Bring your own device policy in place. Your BYOD security plan should also include:
- Requirements for installing remote wiping software on any personal devices used to store or access company data
- Education and training for employees on how to safeguard company data when they access wireless networks from their own mobile phones and devices
- Data protection practices that include requiring strong passwords and automatic locking after periods of inactivity
- Protocols for reporting lost or stolen devices
- The use of certain antivirus and protective security software
- Requirements for regular backups
- An approved list for those who want to download apps
Mobile devices are becoming more critical to operations. And with more devices open to attacks, businesses must bolster their cybersecurity efforts. Malicious actors will exploit every possible vulnerability and that includes those in unsecured smartphones and tablets. Get in touch with us if you need comprehensive security solutions for your business.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and Training, Unified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.