Mobile devices are typically at higher risk than other corporate IT infrastructure. Managing security on such devices is essential.
Technological breakthroughs have streamlined business operations in throughout the years. Today, we’re talking about how the convenience of mobile devices to share data poses a risk in IT operations.
The extension of business onto mobile also means that information on your team members’ personal mobile devices is no longer limited to just phone numbers and contacts. They now contain much more significant data, such as emails, passwords, and other business details.
That’s why keeping those mobile devices secure is key to shielding your data’s integrity and minimizing the risk of data breach.
Unfortunately, there are fewer control vectors for mobile devices than their desktop and laptop counterparts. Anti-malware applications may be present, but they’re not as powerful as their computer versions. In addition, many devices simply don’t support certain measures that companies take to bolster their business security.
Fortunately, you can still implement robust safety measures to protect your smartphones and tablets. With a Hermetic Networks Managed Services plan, mobile device management is baked in and ready to secure your devices.
This article, however, will cover nine best practices in improving cybersecurity on mobile devices.
Best Practices to Secure Mobile Devices
1) Establish a Sound Mobile Device Security Policy
Before issuing devices to your teams, create an effective usage policy. Define rules about acceptable use and determine the penalties for violating them.
Make your employees aware of the security risks and measures that can help them reduce the risks. They should know that they are the first line of defense against cybercrime.
Furthermore, be sure to develop a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy if you permit your team to use a personal device for business. Your company policy can include the following:
- Requirements for the installation and remote software wiping on any personal device that stores or accesses company data
- Employee training and education on safeguarding company information when using wireless networks on their mobile devices
- Data protection methods that include automatic locking or other security measures applicable after long inactivity periods
- Protocols for lost and stolen devices
- The use of security software and antivirus platforms
- Backup requirements
Does your company need help developing mobile device security policies? Get in touch today and our engineers will walk you through everything your business needs to know.
2) Ensure Mobile Device Operating Systems Stay Up To Date
Updating Android and iOS operating systems improve overall user experience, but their most significant role is in addressing security vulnerabilities.
Therefore, install updates as soon as the developer rolls them out to reduce exposure to cybersecurity threats. Delaying it may give criminals enough time to attack your weaknesses and take advantage of outdated operating systems.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems of all kinds can help your organization manage OS updates. Choosing the right system for your business can be a daunting task.
Luckily, here at Hermetic Networks, we have the skills and experience to help you sort through the options and pick the right solution.
3) Set Up Password Protection on Mobile Devices
A complex password or PIN can help prevent cyber criminals from accessing mobile devices. Besides using alphanumeric combinations, you can also enforce facial or fingerprint recognition, depending on what suits your employees.
If you opt for digits and letters, don’t share the combination with people outside your company. On top of that, be sure that your staff doesn’t store them on their phones.
When in doubt, use a password management solution.
4) Only Download Business Apps to Mobile Devices
Lenient download policies can allow your team members to install non-business apps. Downloading such apps might seem harmless, but they are also infamous for their harmful advertising codes and many other threats.
To mitigate this risk, tell your employees they can only download and use apps necessary for their roles. Additionally, using a Mobile Device Management solution can help ensure that users can’t install unauthorized apps. You can also push necessary apps to the devices yourself for more control.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help your business with a customized Mobile Device Management solution.
5) Avoid Public WiFi
Your team may need to use public Wi-Fi networks in emergencies to send crucial emails or schedule a meeting. However, connecting to such networks can expose confidential company information to cyber criminals using the same network.
The easiest way to minimize this risk is to provide a high-quality internet plan that features roaming services for your remote workers.
But if there’s no way to avoid public Wi-Fi connections, a secure virtual private network (VPN) may do the trick. It can help shield your data by creating direct, secure links from your location to the intended website.
6) Leverage GPS Tracking Capabilities
Losing company-issued mobile devices is unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world.
Enabling Android Phone Tracker, Find My Phone on iOS, or other device-tracking software can help locate your lost smartphones. Most MDM solutions also enable you to wipe corporate data on your stolen devices remotely.
Installing these apps takes a couple of minutes and gives you much-needed peace of mind. With it, even if your staff loses their mobile device, cyber criminals are less likely to get their hands on the content.
7) Use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solution
For even more security, you may want to integrate with reliable MDM. It’s an excellent way to separate personal and business information while allowing your team members to set up robust security measures on their devices.
In most cases, cloud-based software is the most affordable, flexible, and manageable type of MDM. Many platforms let you check out device information, update and manage apps, configure your devices, create usage restrictions, and remove content remotely.
If possible, implement MDM software that enforces security measures across all devices. As previously mentioned, this can include data encryption, strong passwords, and setting up containers to separate personal information from enterprise data.
8) Filter Email and SMS Messages
Cyber criminals frequently employ SMS phishing to trick your team into clicking dangerous links. They pose as someone credible, asking your staff to share confidential information.
If your employees encounter such messages, they should delete them or alert the IT department. Another great idea is to avoid opening the SMS and block the sender. The same applies for email accounts that receive phishing messages.
Whether it’s from an SMS or an email, phishing links can be dangerous for all types of devices – even more so on mobile. It’s critical to keep an eye on information coming in and out of corporate devices.
9) Blocking and Whitelisting
Many threats can compromise your company due to employee errors. For example, a team member may not realize they’re downloading a malicious app that allows thieves to steal data from their mobile devices.
Blocking and whitelisting can enable you to protect your employees from these risks by determining which sites and apps are safe.
On one hand, blocking certain applications can give your IT department peace of mind and alert them when someone tries to access those applications.
On the other hand, whitelists can work great for highlighting the tools your team should prioritize over social media and games.
Don’t Drop Your Guard
Securing your desktop computers and laptops only is a disaster waiting to happen.
Your employees may still use their mobile devices to send emails and share sensitive information. That’s why shielding them from cyber criminals should be a top priority.
Develop a strict usage policy and follow other recommended practices to make your team’s smartphones and tablets virtually impervious to data theft.
Get in touch with us today for even more cybersecurity tips. We can schedule a chat to help you identify and address any potential security risks.