Mobile devices, while essential to business operations, can open organizations up to various security issues. Without proper mobile security measures in place, companies have a higher risk of falling victim to data breaches and cyber attacks. This can damage an organization’s reputation, as well as cause significant financial loss. For that reason, a comprehensive mobile security policy is paramount. To start you off with some basic elements of mobile security, consider implementing these ideas into your policy.
Initially, you should decide whether or not you will use a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. If you decide against BYOD and choose to provide devices to your staff, ensure that employees are aware that their personal and business devices should not be used interchangeably. Any business activities must be performed solely on their work device in order to maintain secure operations. Regardless, your organization’s backup system should acknowledge that some personal data may still be stored on employee devices, and try to ensure that only business data is backed up.
Additionally, having the ability to completely wipe a device is beneficial for your business. If an employee’s device is lost or stolen, it’s critical to be able to rid the device of any company data before it potentially falls into the wrong hands. However, doing this is more difficult with a BYOD policy, as the device will also contain personal employee data. When informing staff of this policy, be sure to make this point clear so they don’t feel blindsided in the event that their device must be wiped. Employees should also engage in the practice of reporting stolen devices in order to achieve transparency.
Some employees may not be aware of the potential risks that come with mobile devices. Therefore, staff should be provided with a list of permitted and prohibited apps. This way, employees will have an awareness of apps that are high-risk and refrain from downloading them. As well as this, employees need to be informed of the risk of public WiFi. Because public WiFi networks are unsecured, any device activity taking place while using them could be compromised. To mitigate this risk, set devices up to automatically deactivate WiFi when not in use. This stops devices from connecting to previously accessed public networks accidentally.
To protect yourself further, data on both BYOD and company devices should be encrypted. This acts as an additional barrier if a device happens to be hacked or lost. Encryption also assists in protecting critical business and client data and is, therefore, a necessity for your mobile security policy.
When you finalize your policy, it’s important to get it written down and have your employees sign it. In addition to this, staff should receive training on how to follow the policy as well as be made aware of any security risks that they could be subject to. Employee education will make these policy measures run more smoothly and help staff to understand the importance of maintaining security.
Without mobile security, businesses are playing with fire and putting their clients and employees at risk. Implementing a security policy can be overwhelming, but it is a necessity. Consider the above elements of a good mobile security policy when creating your own and simplify the implementation process!
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