How to keep your mobile device secure
Many employees bring their own mobile device to use for business related purposes. People aren’t willing to carry around 2 devices, and most companies are willing to let them consolidate. Security on a BYOD (bring your own device) phone can be hit and miss depending on the person. From Malware to just plain misplacing it, mobile devices are increasingly becoming the preferred method of entry to your business for hackers. Often employees aren’t taking the time to properly secure their mobile device, and your company could pay the price.
Creating accountability within your company for mobile device security can help your business patch the hole caused by these mobile devices. Having employees agree to the following security measures can definitely help!
If nothing else, please make sure there is a secure way to get into the phone. I know it can be a pain to do, but that little PIN, or pattern can help keep your company safe. It may not keep the phone itself from falling into the wrong hands, but the sensitive corporate information can feel a little bit safer. Using a phone with a fingerprint reader can make accessing it much faster. With an Android device, you can also set up certain Bluetooth devices as “safe”. When the phone is connected to the particular device it will remain unlocked. Just make sure your smartwatch AND your phone aren’t stolen at the same time.
With an Office 365 account, an administrator like your Managed IT Support provider, can log in to the account and remotely wipe a lost device. You will need to notify the administrator as soon as you realize it’s gone for good though. This way they can wipe it as soon as possible. Android devices also have this capability from your Google account. Simply log into the Android device manager and wipe it. You have to flip on the “remotely wipe and locate” settings within the phone first though.
Some app developers can’t get into the official store. There are a number of reasons for this, one being the application is still in Beta and not ready for general release or it’s being installed from Amazon’s app store. In an Android Phone, you can flip a setting to allow these installations. It’s not a great idea to keep this setting turned on though. As soon as you are done installing, what we hope is a trusted application, you can flip the setting back off from the security settings on your phone.
Keep it Updated
Manufacturers are constantly releasing updates for their devices. It could be as simple as fixing a minor bug, or they could be patching a gaping security hole in their programming. In either circumstance, it’s a best practice to keep your device up to date. When vulnerabilities are released as part of a security update, attackers will use that information to create malicious applications. These applications will be successful against any devices that have not been updated.
Scan Your Apps
There are quite a few applications that will scan your phone for malicious programs. Just as it’s important to scan your desktop on a regular basis, it’s a good habit to start scanning your phone as well. Make sure you used a trusted antivirus program. You can also have Android scan itself for malicious apps. It’s located under your settings for Google Security. Just flip the switch to “verify apps”
Chrome also offers a safe browsing option that will flag any potentially malicious sites. A website that you visit frequently can fall victim to a hack, and cause harm to your device when you try to pull it up. Turning on the safe browsing will alert you to the situation before the website loads, so you can make sure to retreat!
As hackers increase their efforts to attack mobile devices, having a security plan in place is going to become essential. Be proactive about your security, and you can help your company remain safe.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.