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How Companies Can Ensure Stronger Mobile Security

September 15, 2016 No Comments

Featured blog by Jessica Oaks, Independent Technology Author

The modern business environment has upended some long-standing traditions. Many employees are now expected to work not just at the office from their desktops, but from home as well, on devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets. The BYOD phenomenon has transformed industries across the country, as employees are now always in reach. As a result, the traditional 9-to-5 work day is quickly becoming blurred.

For this reason, many wireless companies, like T-Mobile, are now offering increased security measures (along with the increased data you might expect) to make this transition easier. Mobile security is a very important subject, especially for enterprise-level companies, as safeguarding proprietary information and data across a network of mobile devices is becoming increasingly necessary. In the past, keeping data centralized was fairly simple, but now proprietary data is often viewed across a wide range of devices, both in-house and privately owned.

So it’s clear that mobile security is needed. But what can companies do to safeguard their data? The steps are simple. Companies running into this very scenario can take the following measures to ensure stronger mobile security.

1. Enforce Best Practices

The simplest solution is often the best solution, and that is true for mobile security as well. If your team members are accessing sensitive or proprietary data from their own devices, ensure that they are aware of company best practices, and that they adhere to them. Outline rules and regulations for accessing sensitive data from a private device in a company white paper or internal Wiki. Emphasize the importance of these practices and go over them often to reiterate their value. Commonsense practices include using password protection and locking devices when not in use, as well as not opening suspicious attachments or downloading suspicious files.

2. Enable Remote Access & Management

If employees are using their own devices from home to complete work, it is reasonable to grant the IT department some level of access in order to prevent sensitive or proprietary information from getting into the wrong hands. With remote access and management privileges, an IT department can wipe a phone and erase sensitive data in the event it is lost or stolen. Such steps may be infrequently taken (in fact, the need may never arise at all) but merely having the ability to remotely access a device can greatly improve mobile security and increase confidence.

3. Implement Encryption Measures

Laptops, smartphones, and tablets should be encrypted if they are being used for work purposes. This basic security measure can greatly mitigate a company’s risk of unauthorized data access. Whether an employee is using an enterprise-level laptop device on a corporate WiFi network, or makes do with an iPad Mini 4 at the local coffee shop, the need (and benefit) of encryption remains the same. Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways to encrypt mobile devices, starting with basic password protection, and employees can implement many encryption methods on their own.

4. Utilize Available Security Tools

Though a user should never download and install a software that is unfamiliar to him or her, that doesn’t mean that mobile devices can’t benefit from antivirus programs. A strong antivirus software can greatly improve a smartphone or tablet’s protection against malware and other malicious digital attacks. If your team works in a BYOD environment, and you haven’t already done so, you may want to consider mandating the use of antivirus software (or another applicable security tool) to help safeguard sensitive company data from outside attacks. For consistency and reliability, you may want to enforce the type of software that is used.

5. Keep Software Programs Up to Date

This is a simple one: keep your mobile software and operating system up to date at all times. With each new update, the odds are good that not only have bugs been addressed, but additional security measures have been added. Plus, keeping software up to date is free and easy, meaning there’s no good reason not to implement this security measure immediately.

Mobile Security is Within Your Reach

Mobile is the new normal, so it’s time that your company start treating mobile with the respect it deserves. If your team conducts work on the go, implement the steps outlined above to help ensure stronger mobile security. Doing so could mean the difference between withstanding a digital attack or suffering defeat. Don’t take unnecessary risks and don’t leave your data exposed – secure your employees’ mobile devices today.


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