Most mobile devices are less safe than desktop computers so increasing the security on such devices is essential if you use them in business.
Technological breakthroughs have streamlined business operations in many ways. Primarily, mobile devices have made communication and data sharing simpler and more convenient. But this usage means that mobile devices no longer just contain simple data such as phone numbers and contacts. Our phones and tablets now contain much more significant data, such as emails, passwords, documents and other account details.
That is why keeping these devices safe and secure is key to shielding your reputation and minimising the risk of losing money and damaging your businesses reputation.
Unfortunately, though, the security on tablets and smartphones can be far less than on desktops and laptops. Security programs may be present, but often they are not as powerful as their computer counterparts and also many devices do not support certain measures that can increase security.
Fortunately, you can still implement extra safety measures to protect all mobile devices in your business. This blog article covers nine best practices in improving cybersecurity on mobile devices.
#1: – ESTABLISH A MOBILE SECURITY POLICY
Before distributing tablets and smartphones to your staff, create an effective usage policy. Define rules about acceptable use and determine the penalties for violating them.
Your employees must be aware of all the security risks and measures that can help them reduce these risks. They should also know that they are the first line of defence against cybercrime.
Furthermore, be sure to develop a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy if you permit your team to use their own personal devices in your business. Your BYOD policy can include:
- Training and education for staff on safeguarding company information when using non-work wireless networks.
- Requirements for the installation and remote wiping on any personal device that accesses company data.
- Automatic locking after set inactivity periods to protect company data.
- Protocols for lost and stolen devices.
- The installation of company security software and antivirus platforms.
- Any backup requirements.
#2 – KEEPING THE SYSTEM UP TO DATE
Android and iOS updates can add new features and improve the user experience, but their most significant role is in patching security vulnerabilities.
Install updates as soon as they are available to reduce exposure to any known threats. Delaying any updates gives criminals the potential to use any known vulnerabilities to get into your systems.
#3 – ENABLE PASSWORD PROTECTION
A complex password or PIN is a simple precaution to prevent cybercriminals from accessing mobile devices. Besides using alphanumeric combinations, you can also use facial or fingerprint recognition.
If you opt for digits and letters, do not share them with people outside your company or store them on the phone or computer (unless it is in a proper encrypted password app).
#4 – INSTALL BUSINESS APPS ONLY
Downloading apps might seem harmless, but they are also infamous for bringing in malware and other threats. To mitigate this risk, implement a policy that tells your employees they can only download and use apps necessary for their roles.
#5 – AVOID PUBLIC WIRELESS CONNECTIONS
When out and about one of your team may need to use the Internet to send an email or check on a document. Should they jump on a public wifi network at the cafe or hotel they are at? The answer is no as they could expose confidential company information.
Instead of a public wifi network, they should their mobile phones wifi hotspot or provide the employee with a 4G / 5G modem.
If there is no way to avoid public Wi-Fi connections, then using a reputable virtual private network (VPN) is acceptable.
#6 – LEVERAGE MOBILE PHONE TRACKING
Losing company-issued mobile devices is unfortunate, but it may cause proprietary data to be released into the public domain.
Enabling Android Phone Tracker, Find My Phone on iOS, or other device tracking software can help locate lost smartphones. Some programs also enable you to remove data on the devices remotely.
Installing these apps takes a couple of minutes and gives you much-needed peace of mind.
#7 – IMPLEMENT MDM
If you have a number of mobile company devices MDM (Mobile Device Management) software will allow for better management and security.
In most cases, a cloud-based platform is the most affordable, flexible, and manageable type of MDM. Many platforms let you check out device information, create usage restrictions, update and manage apps, configure your devices and remove content remotely.
If possible, implement MDM software that enforces security measures across all devices – this can include strong passwords and data encryption.
#8 – CHECK MESSAGES CAREFULLY
SMS phishing is frequently used by cybercriminals to trick people into clicking on dangerous links. They claim they are from a known company or know you personally and usually ask you to click on a malicious link or to share confidential information.
If you or your staff receive such messages, they should alert your IT department, then delete them and block the sender.
#9 – BLOCKING AND WHITELISTING
Most threats occur as a staff member doesn’t realise that the email / message / app they are opening is a threat.
A combination of blocking and whitelisting can enable you to protect your employees from these risks by determining which sites and apps are safe:
- blocking applications can give you peace of mind as only a list of approved apps can run.
- whitelists can work by limiting the sites, users can browse to on their devices.
Don’t Drop Your Guard
Securing your desktop computers and laptops is only half the job. Employees may still use their mobile devices to get around any security you have in place. That is why a strict usage policy for mobile devices is a must.
Get in touch with us today for a free evaluation of your current setup. Don’t wait until it is too late to address any potential security risks in your current environment.