Mobile devices continue to take more of the workload away from computers/laptops every year. Tablets often now come with keyboards, making them a convenient hybrid between smartphones and laptops.
Approximately 87% of companies are dependent upon their employees accessing business apps from their mobile devices to get work done.
But how protected are those mobile devices?
It’s much easier to lock down security on workstations that remain on desks inside the same building. Firewalls and managed cybersecurity can put a defensive ring around anything that’s connected to your business wireless network.
But today’s work environment has changed dramatically, it’s much more mobile and agile. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have staff working from home and are using cloud platforms to make their business processes and data accessible from anywhere.
This makes mobile security a big concern and one that needs to be addressed a little differently than in-office devices.
Tips for Mobile Device Security at Your Business
There are a few different challenges you’re dealing with when it comes to mobile devices being used for work.
- They can be connecting from unsecure Wi-Fi networks
- They may not be protected by regular security patch updates
- Employee mobile devices may have unsecure apps on them
- Others (friends/family) may have access to tablets or smartphones being used by an employee for work
- It’s much easier for mobile devices to be lost or stolen than desktop computers
When you think about mobile device security, you have to put it on the same level as the security for any other device being used to access and/or store your business data.
Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones… they’re all what are known as endpoints. And they all can be just as susceptible to malware infections, ransomware, and data breaches.
Here are some ways to ensure that either company or employee-owned mobile devices are being properly protected.
Mobile Antivirus/Anti-Malware Software
Just like your computer needs to have a good antivirus/anti-malware solution, so does your mobile device.
Mobile devices can just as easily download a banking trojan or other malicious file hidden in an email attachment, link, or malicious application.
Make sure all mobile devices being used to access company data have a reliable antivirus/anti-malware software installed and that it’s regularly updated.
Endpoint Device Manager
One of the biggest problems with managing mobile devices is that they can be anywhere. Additionally, there are often several of them being used by one employee (smartphone, tablet, wearable). Companies may not even be sure which employee devices are connecting to their business apps.
An endpoint device manager, like Intune in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, helps you easily keep track of all endpoints (computers and mobile devices) that are connecting to your company network and business data.
This type of software is designed to help separate the personal from work areas of an employee-owned mobile device, allowing you to protect your business data.
Some of the security protections you get with an endpoint device manager include:
- Visibility into device access to your business data
- Ability to remotely install updates or new business software
- Remotely lock or wipe a device that’s been lost or stolen
- Remotely grant or revoke application access to a mobile device
- See access patterns for different apps to see which employees use the most
- Add additional device authentication steps to increase security
Many mobile devices connect from free public Wi-Fis which leaves any data at risk of being intercepted. “Man in the middle” attacks can also log keystrokes, allowing a hacker to gain login credentials to online banking, email accounts, and more.
A business VPN can be used on both mobile devices and desktops. It’s an application that adds a layer of encryption between the user device and the Wi-Fi connection.
VPN’s ensure that an internet session is encrypted and secure, which can prevent it being compromised even on a public Wi-Fi network.
VPNs also mask IP addresses (which typically give away a general location of the user). This can add additional security for staff that may be traveling.
Physical Device Locks
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many users don’t put screen locks on their devices because they don’t want to be slowed down. It’s also important to ensure mobile devices are secured, i.e. don’t leave a tablet sitting out on a table at a conference and walk away for a minute.
Locking cases and screen locks that come up after just a few minutes not only can prevent data from being compromised, it can also give you the time you need to wipe a stolen device remotely before a hacker breaks through the lock.
What Does Your Mobile Device Security Strategy Look Like?
Connect2Geek can help your business put together a solid mobile device security strategy that keeps your data protected without impeding the flexibility of mobile workflows.
Schedule a free mobile security consultation today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.