Unless you live in a cave, you know by now that Apple has announced the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X. And despite the cost, you can be sure a bunch of your employees are already on the wait list to get one. But it should also make you stop and think - how secure are your employee-owned mobile devices?
Whether it's Apple, Android, Windows or other, most employees are now using their smartphones and tablets more than their PCs for email, calendars, document-sharing, and accessing company data in general.
The good news is that these devices are increasing your employee productivity. The bad news is that mobile devices, when handled improperly, can become a huge security risk for your business. In fact, mobile security has become one of the biggest challenges for protecting business data.
Below are 6 steps that you should take to make sure your business is protected:
- Make sure all devices are password protected. You'd be surprised at how many people dis-enable that feature for convenience. Note that iPhone X will offer facial recognition to unlock a device, but the jury is still out on how secure this actually is.
- Consider taking advantage of "two factor authentication." Many popular applications already have it built in, but you can also subscribe to more sophisticated services - Ntiva utilizes Duo, as an example.
- Remind staff that every time they get those annoying reminders to "update your software" - do it! These are often published due to security vulnerabilities. You can also automate this using Mobile Device Management solutions. (Scroll down for more information.)
- What's the number one way hackers get into your company data? By employees clicking on a "phishing link" in email. Yes, you need to remind your employees AGAIN not to click on suspicious links. This might be even harder to detect on your mobile email application as opposed to on your PC, so when in doubt - don't.
- Do not use public Wi-Fi - it is not secure. It's tempting to switch over to Starbucks or Panera free Wi-Fi instead of using up an expensive cellular data plan, but the easiest way for hackers to gain control of your email account is through public Wi-Fi. Again - just don't.
- Make sure all your devices have the "wipe" ability enabled, in case the device is lost or stolen. There are separate instructions for iOS, Android and Windows phones, or ask your IT service provider to help out with additional guidance.
Does your industry fall under strict regulations for protecting private consumer data?
You might want to look into a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.
In short, MDM software lets you manage and protect all of your organization's mobile devices, Macs and PCs. Using a centralized dashboard, administrators can enforce device security policies, deploy software and apps, and perform remote troubleshooting.
You can also remotely lock and erase devices, restrict access to certain locations and content, and enforce the use of remote VPN access, if applicable.
We know that IT security can get complicated, so please reach out to us if you're looking to learn more about how we can help you with your security needs.