As more and more of America’s workforce moves away from the office and into the field securing the employee’s mobile devices becomes paramount. There is also the rise of workers using their own personal mobile gadgets so crafting company policy should also include them as well.
According to PC Week by 2013 more than one-third of the global workforce will be mobile, and a study by Gartner found that 45 percent of workers in the United States work outside the traditional office at least eight hours per week. This can be great for keeping client relations positive with more site visits, allowing for a better work-life balance to retain key employees or even keeping office maintenance costs down.
However, organization security policies are surprisingly lax when it comes to keeping those devices secure. A recent survey by Sophos in the UK had some alarming returns.
46% of those surveyed allow or encourage the use of personal mobile devices for work
Only 55% of those allowing personal mobiles in the work place have password policies in place
41% of enterprises do not have a separate budget for mobile device security.
So how does a company keep its mobile network secure? Whether the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or a company issued mobile phone there are simple steps to implement as the first defense against security threats. They can and should be easily incorporated into company policy and employees should be required to implement them.
Use passwords. Seems easy enough doesn’t it? But most mobile users don’t use passwords to access their devices, especially their personal ones, but it’s a simple way to fend off threats if the device is lost. Common data wipe capabilities often come standard on mobile devices and will erase data after multiple invalid password attempts are made. Require that employees use unique passwords different from their own personal codes.
Data encryption is very useful to secure both data at rest and when information is being sent or received over the airwaves. Many models of mobile devices have the ability to encrypt data and user experience is minimal. Stored data can’t be accessed nor can user names and passwords be stolen.
Regularly back up all stored data from mobile devices. Cloud-based storage is an attractive idea as the data will be separate from the user as well as all other company locations and can be accessed from anywhere with a secure Internet connection.
Set up your phone’s auto-lock feature. Yes, it’s a pain, but if your phone or tablet is lost or stolen you’ll be thankful that it’s locked down and of course password enabled. Set it for the shortest time possible for your own tolerance.
Practice simple precautions. Accessing the web or opening email should be approached with the same caution and wariness that you use with your laptop or office computer. Malware knows no location and hackers will strike wherever the most value is for their efforts.
The professionals at DataComm Plus are well versed in all forms of mobile and office communications. Whether it’s the best apps for working remotely, the best phone systems for your particular needs or technology that allows meetings with partners worldwide,DataComm provides the technology and the training so our customers don’t miss a beat. Contact us to see how we can partner with you to solve all your office communication needs.