Businesses of every shape and size - small, large, local, and online, are adapting to rapidly changing technologies by incorporating mobile devices and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies into their companies. And that’s a good thing! The explosion of mobile devices in the workplace has the potential to increase productivity, increase sales, and increase employee satisfaction. Mobile devices can save you money and make you more money. However, when employees start to use more devices to manage company information, the risk of security issues increases.
Kaspersky Lab, a security firm, found that 62% of business owners and employees use mobile devices for work. And 92% of them store sensitive company data on devices that are used for both work and personal uses.
And get this: While 6 in 10 of those mobile users are concerned about mobile security, they believe it is their employer’s responsibility to keep data safe. However, a third of small business owners see no risk involved in their employees’ use of mobile devices.
The mobile security landscape among small businesses is looking grim. While they are quick to adopt the new technologies, they tend to ignore the risks involved.
Kaspersky’s Konstantin Voronkov said, “It is increasingly rare to come across a business professional who doesn’t use their own mobile device for work. A laptop or smartphone enables you to do a large part of your business tasks remotely, from any global location. However, the loss of important corporate data via personal devices is a common occurrence, and a negligent attitude towards the security of mobile devices could pose a serious risk to a company’s business. That is why it is important to use a reliable dedicated solution that addresses all modern requirements and market trends.”
For companies that plan to incorporate mobile devices (whether the company or the employee owns the device) there are ways to mitigate the risks.
First, you need to have a written policy that outlines what employees can and can’t do with their devices. What company data can they store on the device? Can they call clients with that device? Can they give out their personal phone number to clients? There is a lot to think about but answers to these questions could be the difference between keeping data safe and letting data slip into the hands of criminals.
Next, you need to deploy security solutions like antivirus, backups, and regular updates across all devices. You know that computers can get nasty viruses and the same goes for smartphones and tablets. Anything that is connected to the internet is vulnerable.
Always, always, always use passwords. This is a no-brainer. And change those passwords when employees leave the company.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows that device to be securely connected to the server, even if the device is hundreds of miles away from home base. This allows the user of the device to get the information they need from the server, without compromising data. This is the alternative to using public Wi-Fi hotspots, which can be extremely insecure.
You can’t ignore the rise of mobile devices in the workplace, but you can takes steps to move forward in a safe, secure way.
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