The Mobile Revolution Is Here But Security Lags

Filed under News by Adam Torkildson on May 13, 2016 at 8:39 AM

Everything is mobile these days, including many of the devices used for business, and with these new devices come changing security concerns. Best addressed by a combination of IT and management, these security issues can prove fatal if not appropriately address. Now is the time to set your company’s mobile device practices in order. Here are 4 concerns to tackle first.

Put Policy First

Telecommuting and working from home – tasks specifically enabled by mobile devices – create unique security gaps for businesses. At work, we always secure our WiFi connections and protect them with a strong password. Telecommuters, however, often drop themselves down at a local cafe and log on to public hot spots. This can pose a major security risk.

If you find employees working away from encrypted connections, consider ending telecommuting or offering personal protected hot spots for these working conditions.

You should also have clear bring your own device (BYOD) policy in place because, while this is viewed as the flexible, modern approach to business, personal devices can carry dangers with them. Some companies are banning the use of personal devices for any business correspondence or file access in order to avoid security conflicts.

Always Encrypt

The cardinal rule of business documents is that they should always be transmitted and stored securely, and that means encryption. Always encrypt business PDFs and store them with password protection. This is the best way to prevent an information breach – and because mobile devices are more likely to be accidentally forgotten somewhere, doubling down on security is worth the effort.

Know Your Bugs

One of the biggest problems facing mobile device use in the business world is the fact of viruses, combined with lower security monitoring. We’re used to installing standard virus detection software on our computers, but many companies are less cautious with mobile devices – especially if you have a BYOD policy.

Further, bugs like Stagefright specifically target security vulnerabilities on Android devices and without proper patching, holes open up. Your IT team should make these holes a top priority and take devices offline if a problem persists.

Focus On Preventative Practices

As a business, our responsibilities to our customers come first. That’s why we shouldn’t wait until a problem emerges to call in IT services. That’s the bandaid approach to security. Instead, professional ethics demand that we take a preventative approach to security. Insist on regularly scheduled updates as well as scans for bugs, malicious code, or other problems carried out by IT professionals.

Mobile technology will to continue to integrate itself into our daily work practices, and separating the work and the personal will only become more difficult. By getting management and IT working closely together now, however, your business can assure that the best, most knowledgeable combination of minds are on the case, protecting your customers and your assets.

 

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