Nowadays, businesses can make data easily accessible to their employees. There is no need to come into the office to finish a task. Thanks to the presence of smartphones and other mobile devices, employees can work in the comforts of their homes.
However, as employees can easily access business data, the more that it brings risk. When BYOD becomes a policy with no proper guide, there’s a gap that hackers can access.
There is nothing wrong with BYOD or using smartphones to manage business data. But as organizations fail to secure these devices and implement policies, the more open it is to attacks.
Securing your business smartphone doesn’t have to entail expensive software and tools. Most of the time it’s about using the right tool and educating your employees.
Here are ways you can implement it on your employees when using smartphones for work.
How To Secure A Business Smartphone?
Upgrade Devices As Needed:
For regular smartphone users, upgrading to a phone every 32 months or a few years is not a usual practice. You only use your phone for personal use and scrolling through social media.
However, when it comes to business smartphones, this topic is taken in the opposite direction. Businesses should take device upgrades seriously. Devices that are more than 3 years of age often don’t receive regular OS updates, making them vulnerable to use for business.
If you are implementing a BYOD policy, set a minimum requirement of what device your employees can only use.
If you’re working with limited IT resources, you’ll have to choose between figuring out a mobile security plan on your own and relying on what’s currently on the market and available to enterprises.
Establish A Guideline For BYOD Policy:
Make sure you have a proper Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place if you allow employees to bring devices for company business.
- Install a software application that can remotely wipe company data on the device
- Train employees on how they can access company data to keep safe when connecting to unsecured networks
- Provide a list of apps allowed on the device and tell them to avoid downloading apps outside the official app store.
- Use strong passwords, lock screen, and app lock.
- Report when a device is missing
- Regularly backup the device
- Install an antivirus software application
Update Device And All Applications:
Mobile device software updates frequently include patches for numerous security gaps that can let malware and other security risks in. As a result, installing the regular updates as they become available is the best practice.
Install Mobile Device Antivirus Software:
Antivirus software applications for smartphones and mobile devices run differently than those made for desktops. The security features of these antiviruses are limited. Security software puts less attention on smartphone protection because there are more attacks on computers.
However, that is not to say you do not need one. In fact, antivirus software for smartphones is crucial. It keeps devices safe from email and web phishing, blocks suspicious texts and calls, and prevents malware from installing into the device.
Antivirus software comes in free and paid versions. Some free versions have good enough features, but the paid plan can offer more. As to what brand to use, it depends on your preference.
Activate Phone Lock And App Security:
There’s a bigger chance you can lose your smartphone than your laptop. Therefore, keeping the device inaccessible as much as possible is important.
Activating the phone security to lock your smartphone keeps it unavailable to anyone who wants to open the device. In addition, adding an app lock on applications that holds sensitive information matters.
Ensure that your phone password differs from the app lock code.
Protect With Allowlisting And Blocklisting:
Many security hazards enter businesses as a result of user errors, which are frequently honest mistakes. Employees may not realize that by downloading an app, they are allowing corporate data to be stolen from their smartphones.
Allowing and blocking apps via MDM protects employees from these hazards by making it obvious which apps and websites are secure.
Blocklists provide peace of mind by restricting access to specific programs and alerting them when an attempt is made. Allowlists, on the other hand, might be more effective in emphasizing the mobile tools that employees should prioritize.
Activate Two-Factor Authentication:
Two-factor authentication secures accounts further. Aside from providing a password, you’ll need to input a code on the account.
2FA is straightforward and provides a better mobile security strategy for businesses.
Users of 2FA can either choose to accept code via email or text or use biometric identifiers. However, most businesses choose biometric measures as a means of accessing their accounts.
Mobile Device Management (MDM):
If you provide smartphones and mobile devices for your employees, using MDM can help you manage the devices, apps, and updates.
It can also work with BYOD programs to keep the device safe from threats, but there is the question of privacy.
Many cyber security dangers enter a network as a result of human errors, which are frequently honest mistakes. Many employees are not aware of their actions. Therefore, by restricting the activities on the smartphone, it secures the data from threats.
It is critical to enable encryption on corporate mobile phones. Encryption for mobile devices works by transforming data on the phone into an unreadable format. You’ll have to enter the encryption PIN or password to decrypt and access the data.
Modern smartphones allow the encryption of data. You can easily access your data or send them without anyone seeing them.
There is encrypted messaging, email, and other apps available in app stores.
Avoid Connecting With An Unsecure Network:
Mobile devices have become a constant necessity for businesses because they allow them to access work anywhere. But the freedom to work out of the office or in the comfort of your home can also pose risk.
Public networks are free and anyone can connect to them. When you connect to a public and unsecured Wi-Fi it puts data at risk. Anyone on that network can see the data being transferred.
There are options that businesses can do to protect their data. The best of it is to use a VPN.
Perform Regular Backup:
A ransomware attack is one of the most common threats that affect businesses. When such an attack occurs, the victim is locked out of their data.
For a business, not being able to access their data means temporarily stopping their operation. So, this means not only losing money but losing the trust of customers and the overall productivity.
A practice of regularly performing backup can secure your data in case of an attack. This means you get to continue the operation while trying to figure out the cause of the breach.
Cybersecurity doesn’t only include devices and software; humans are a part of it. Most small to mid-sized businesses have reported that human negligence is the most common cause of data breaches. But this is not to say you have to blame your employees when an attack happens.
If a business lacks cybersecurity awareness training, that goes to say that you put your company at risk. Any negligence on the employees’ part is partly the fault of the business. Why? Companies shouldn’t assume that an employee knows everything about security and data risk. Therefore, they have to step up and take responsibility for this part.
Provide employees with cybersecurity awareness training to let them know what to do. By informing your employees, they will be more careful with their actions.
Enable Phone Tracking:
Smartphones can inevitably get misplaced or stolen. Such occurrences can be stressful when the device contains all valuable business information.
Enabling phone tracking can help locate your missing device. But there’s more to that! Some applications with mobile tracking features allow the user to lock the device remotely, take a picture of someone who tries to access the phone, etc.
It comes with an online account where you can remotely wipe the data on your device.
Avoid Clicking On Links:
Email is the most common way hackers try to find their next victim. Even though there are news and articles about hacking, what to do, how to protect yourself, etc., there are still people who aren’t aware of them.
Email can contain links or downloads that can gain access to a user’s login credentials. So, the best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid clicking on links.
Even if you have received an email from someone you know, you mustn’t click on the link because hackers nowadays are smart to mimic legitimate emails.
You can confirm the email by sending a new message to the recipient. Checking the link without clicking is impossible on smartphones.
In addition, learning about the telltale signs of phishing email can also help.
Smartphones are the least protected technologies in a business setting. Most organizations implement security practices on other devices and infrastructure while disregarding mobile devices like smartphones. By securing your business smartphone, you strengthen your organization’s security from cyberattacks.