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How To Keep Your Team’s Mobile Devices Protected

Mobile devices are more important than ever when it comes to the workplace. With a desire for greater flexibility in workplaces, many organizations are shifting to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment. While this can be a boost to productivity and employee satisfaction, there are obvious security risks in letting users access corporate files and emails on their personal device.

In recent years there has also been an increase in cyberattacks on businesses, with threats like ransomware costing US companies billions each year. To fully protect your business from these threats, you need to close off every attack vector. That includes your employees’ devices. 

Luckily there are technologies and best practices which can help mitigate these concerns. Let’s take a look at some of the risks posed by employee devices and how a mobile device management service from Carden IT Services could help. 

What Are The Threats To Mobile Devices’ Security?

While there are multiple ways to compromise a cell phone, the following are the most common: 

  • Unsecured WiFi Hotspots
    When an employee connects via an public hotspot, there is always a risk that a third party is monitoring the connection and possibly intercepting data as it’s sent between the mobile and your organization
  • Use Of Unapproved Apps For Workplace Data
    So, what exactly is this? It occurs when employees use unauthorized applications to store or create business data. Your business’s data may be compromised if the platforms they use are compromised.
  • Lost/Stolen Devices
    A lost mobile or laptop poses the greatest threat to your business. Everything; an employee’s contacts, emails, documents, saved passwords, and more would be at risk if someone managed to gain access to a stolen device. They might use that information to hack into your business or leak the information online.

As you can see, there are several security issues to be concerned about with mobile devices. However, precautions can be taken to directly address security concerns to mobile devices. Let’s take a look at some that we have implemented for our customers. 

How To Secure Business Mobile Devices

The challenge is to strike the correct balance between enabling your workers to use their phones for personal purposes while still providing them with the tools they need to safely access their business assets on the move. 

If you are going to allow users to use their own mobile devices (whether that’s a cell phone, laptop, or tablet) for work, it’s important to have a robust and easy to understand BYOD policy and that each team member understands their responsibilities. While technology has a part of play in your cybersecurity, having engagement and buy in from your team is an important aspect of keeping your business safe. 

Prohibit Employees From Storing Corporate Data On Non-Company Cloud Platforms
It’s tempting to just upload documents to Google Docs or Dropbox to make accessing and working on files more convenient. This type of behaviour might appear harmless, and most of the time it is, but anything that removes your work data from your secured network poses a threat. Train your team to keep their papers in a secure, company-controlled place. You can use a corporate cloud for documents storage and allow your employees to access it via their mobile. Software solutions like Data Loss Prevention (DLP) can help to prevent sensitive data from being moved or copied out of your network. 

Use Microsoft Intune
Microsoft Intune can help manage corporate applications on mobile devices. You can automatically push updates, wipe data, and alter policies across multiple devices from a single interface. 

Keep Company Communications On Company Channels
While employees can use any apps they want to communicate privately, if they are speaking with clients or collaborating on a work project, they should be using a secure corporate platform like Microsoft Teams or Slack. This ensures that their communications are constantly encrypted, password-protected, and recorded in the company’s records. 

Implement Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Mobile Device Management does not have to “manage” an employee’s entire phone. Workplace apps can be partitioned and managed separately. This essentially creates a siloed work environment within the user’s personal device. Using an MDM solution, corporate data can also be remotely wiped if the phone is lost or stolen. 

Need Help Keeping Your Team’s Mobile Devices Protected?

We have plenty of solutions to help improve the cybersecurity posture of your employees’ mobile devices. We can also provide your team training on best practices for mobile security. Interested in learning more? For a free consultation, contact us today! 

Author: Jeremy Huson

Jeremy Huson is the founder and director of Carden IT Services LLC. He has nearly two decades of experience managing businesses’ IT networks and his areas of expertise are IT consultation and cybersecurity.