6 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Mobile Device Security
Mobile devices are now used more than PCs in many companies. While that may seem like a stretch, just imagine how many times you use a mobile app to check Slack or Teams or reply to an email message while on the go.
Microsoft estimates that approximately 80% of work is performed on a mobile device and that those devices make up about 60% of a company’s network endpoints.
Yet, many companies don’t have a handle on this important part of their business network and haven’t put solid security measures in place to ensure those endpoints are protected.
Part of the complication is that many offices use a BYOD (bring your own device) system. Employees use their personal mobile devices for work and may get compensated, but employers aren’t keeping up with the security of those devices or even if they are regularly updated.
Approximately 90% of Android devices and 50%-80% of iOS devices are running outdated versions of the operating system.
Mobile device use is only going to increase as smartphones become more powerful and 5G networks are built out to enable faster wireless network speeds. So, it’s vital to get your mobile device security in check sooner rather than later.
How to Better Secure Business-Use Mobile Devices
Lay Down Ground Rules in a Mobile Device Use Policy
Whether you use company-issued devices or a BYOD policy, you need to have a mobile device use policy for your employees to follow. This will let them know how to handle sensitive data on their phones, what apps can be downloaded, and how phones are to be secured.
You must treat mobile devices just as you do computers because they are now capable of accessing the same types of data. They can also be subject to phishing attacks and ransomware, just like PCs can.
You can’t expect employees to securely handle business data on their smartphones and tablets if you haven’t given them guidelines, so creating a mobile device use policy should be a first step to putting a strong mobile security strategy in place.
Use a Mobile Device Manager
Many of the following tips can be handled in one fell swoop through the use of a mobile device manager (such as Microsoft Intune).
Mobile device managers are applications that allow you to manage any mobile devices connecting to your network, both company-owned and employee-owned. They are a big help when you use a BYOD policy because they can separate the “work” side of an employee device from the “personal” side. This allows you to manage mobile security without being intrusive of employee privacy.
Some of the things you can do through a mobile device manager are:
- Remotely grant or revoke device access to your network and applications
- Push updates and security patches
- Use remote lock or remote wipe
- Detect when devices are accessing your network or cloud assets
- Only grant permission to managed devices to connect to your assets
Keep All Mobile Devices Updated Regularly
All devices need to be updated regularly to ensure they have the latest security fixes. As new vulnerabilities are found, developers are continuously issuing updates to seal up those weaknesses. But many users aren’t good about installing updates promptly, which leaves the device at risk of a breach or malware infection.
It’s important that you keep any devices being used for business data up to date.
Back Up All Work-Related Data
Mobile devices have the capacity to save a good deal of data. A user could have company photos, videos, and other files on a smartphone or tablet, and if it is lost, stolen, or damaged, that data could be lost forever.
You should ensure that mobile devices are backed up regularly so you’re not at risk of losing any data.
Ensure Devices Use Mobile Anti-malware
Mobile devices are not immune to malware infections. There are malicious apps that are designed to look like helpful tools, but they have malware hidden inside. Mobile devices can also get infected with malware that comes through a phishing email.
All mobile devices being used for work by your employees must have updated mobile antivirus/anti-malware protection to detect and quarantine threats as they are identified.
Require Use of a VPN When on Public Wi-Fi
Mobile devices are often connected to public Wi-Fi while users are away from the office. One big difference between mobile devices and PCs is that we take smartphones with us in our pockets just about everywhere. Users often will connect while out and about to a free Wi-Fi to avoid taking up their mobile plan data allowance.
But public Wi-Fi can mean a security breach if a hacker happens to be connected to the same free network. You can avoid a potential breach of business email or other sensitive information by using a business VPN and requiring users to use it on their mobile devices when away from a secure network.
This will keep traffic encrypted, even if they’re on public Wi-Fi.
Get Expert Help Managing Mobile Device Security
Mobile device management can be overwhelming if you don’t have help. AhelioTech can simplify the process of mobile security for your Columbus area business.
Contact us today for a free quote. Call 614-333-0000 or reach out online.