Mobile technology has changed many aspects of our lives, including how we work. It allows people to break dependence on the office and work wherever they are, with many businesses issuing mobile devices to staff to facilitate off-site working. Businesses also allow BYOD (bring your own device), so that people can use their own tablets, laptops and smartphones.
In many ways mobile technology can make work easier, but the mobile working revolution has some downsides. Security is a major issue. Let’s look at how your business can make the most of mobile devices while managing device and data security.
Consider this scenario. One of your staff is attending a meeting off-site. They take their eye off their briefcase for a few moments while doing something else and someone steals it, along with the device or devices it contains. Your first impulse might be to ask your employee to explain their lack of vigilance but, let’s face it, clever thieves can make victims of almost anyone. The more important problem is the data on that laptop, tablet or phone, and what a thief might be able to do with it. Apart from sensitive business data or communications, losing financial information, such as account details, can be a huge problem for a business owner.
Even if the device can be recovered, data security may have been compromised. The solution is to take advantage of remote wiping. This will ensure that thieves or hackers cannot use your data, either for their own financial advantage or to harm your organization in some other way. Businesses also need to comply with various sector-specific data privacy regulations, and failure to do so – even if it’s not deliberate on your part, as in the case of device theft – can be costly and bad for your organization’s reputation. The cost of replacing the device pales into insignificance compared to the damage that can be done by a data security breach.
Some apps – especially, but not only on smartphones – are more secure than others. You’ll probably be familiar with downloading apps that require you to grant access to contacts, the camera and more. All users should be wary of these, but extra vigilance is required for devices used for work purposes. You don’t want apps accessing confidential data. Be aware of what permissions apps require and ensure you have the capability to whitelist or blacklist apps, as appropriate.
When using mobile devices you need a way of keeping track. You need to know exactly which devices can access company data. That includes devices that your organization gives to staff, as well as any owned by employees that are used for work. You should keep records of who has what device at a particular time, dates of issue, and what the device is being used for. This will help you stay on top of security issues and, if a problem arises, you can track down the likely source and shut it down to prevent further damage.
Quikteks can advise on best practices and help you implement a comprehensive mobile device management policy to keep track of the mobile devices your organization uses. For more information, call us at (973) 882-4644.