7 Critical Security Measures for Your Staff’s Mobile Phones
There’s no doubt about it – the Internet and mobile and cloud computing have made our lives easier and our businesses more productive, cost-effective and competitive. But without setting the rules straight, people in your organization can become casual and careless about their privacy and your business information.
Because of all of this, if you are going to allow employees to use mobile devices – particularly personal mobile devices – to access, store and use company data, then it’s critical that you have these 7 security measures in place.
1. Implement a mobile device policy. This is particularly important if your employees are using their own personal devices to access company e-mail and data. If that employee leaves, are you allowed to erase company data from their phone? If their phone is lost or stolen, are you permitted to remotely wipe the device – which would delete all of that employee’s photos, videos, texts, etc. – to ensure YOUR information, or your clients’ information, isn’t compromised? If it’s a company-owned device, you need to detail what an employee can and cannot do with that device, including “rooting” or “jailbreaking” the device to circumvent security mechanisms you put in place.
2. Require STRONG passwords and passcodes to lock mobile devices. Passwords should be at least 8 characters and contain lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and at least one number. On a cell phone, requiring a passcode be entered will go a long way in preventing a stolen device from being compromised.
3. Require all mobile devices be encrypted. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that unlocks (decrypts) the data.
4. Implement remote wipe software for lost or stolen devices. If you find a laptop was taken or a cell phone lost, “kill” or wipe software will allow you to disable the device and erase any and all sensitive data remotely.
5. Backup remote devices. If you implement Step 4, you’ll need to have a backup of everything you’re erasing. To that end, make sure you are backing up all MOBILE devices, including laptops, so you can quickly restore the data.
6. Don’t allow employees to download unauthorized software or files. One of the fastest ways cybercriminals access networks is by duping unsuspecting users to willfully download malicious software by embedding it within downloadable files, games or other “innocent”-looking apps.
7. Keep your security software up-to-date. Thousands of new threats are created daily, so it’s critical that you’re updating your mobile device’s security settings frequently. As an employer, it’s best to remotely monitor and manage your employees’ devices to ensure they are being updated, backed up and secured.