Why businesses need to secure their smartphones

Considering the benefits of bringing mobile devices into the workplace? If so, you'll need to make sure that you have a strategy in place for keeping them secure...

Mike Mead

20/09/2019

Today, most businesses know that security is a crucial component of running a successful business. If you’re not keeping your company safe from potential threats, then you could risk losing data, money, and even customers.

Unfortunately, while most company leaders remember to take steps to keep business computers and desk phones safe, they forget that there’s a growing need for mobile security too. Afterall, today’s employees are becoming increasingly mobile, driven by the availability of cloud collaboration and communication tools, and the growing demand for improved work/life flexibility.

If your organisation is starting to consider the benefits of bringing mobile devices into the workplace, then you’ll need to make sure that you have a strategy in place for keeping those tools secure. Here are a few simple ways that you can protect your must-have equipment.

1.     Always update apps and operating systems

Most people are guilty of ignoring their operating system updates on their smartphones. When they’re busy using their devices, your employees are likely to simply swipe update reminders to the side. However, these updates are crucial for maintaining mobile device security, because they ensure that your staff members have access to the latest patches and security systems that can defend against vulnerabilities on their device.

Make sure that your team knows how crucial it is for them to always update their operating systems and apps as soon as a patch becomes available. This will require you to set up a training and awareness programme to help your team members understand just how essential updates can be.

2.     Implement locks and passwords

Often, the essentials of business mobile security are very similar to the basics of business computer safety. For instance, your employees probably already have a username and password that they use to access the devices that they use at work. One of the easiest ways that they can upgrade the security of their mobile devices is to add passwords to those too.

It can be challenging to convince your team members that they need to use locks on their phones, mainly if you’re using a BYOD policy that allows people to bring their personal devices to work. However, remind your users that if someone manages to steal their phone, a password will stop that criminal from accessing any sensitive information too easily.

3.     Take advantage of MDM

There are few things more valuable than a Mobile Device Management solution when it comes to protecting your devices. Whether you’re creating a secure smartphone for your field workers or protecting an employee-owned tablet, MDM will help you manage, monitor, and support all of the devices in your business network.

When it comes to business smartphone security, mobile device management solutions can offer things like remote control access of all business environments, a 24/7 help desk, location tracking services, and even a secure content library for your team members to take advantage of.

4.     Make sure team members know how to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Another critical step that you can take to improve business smartphone security is to ensure that your teams understand the dangers involved in merely jumping onto a free Wi-Fi connection, or leaving their Bluetooth switched on. Unfortunately, people often forget that open connections leave the door open for criminals to hack into their internet access and get into your network in the process.

Advise your team members to only use their private cell connection when possible, even if that means that you need to pay extra for your mobile data. It’ll be worth it to keep your company secure and your information private. You can also consider using a VPN to keep your employees defended when they’re using other access points to get onto the internet.

5.     Invest in two-factor authentication

Finally, remember that two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to take your mobile business security to the next level. It ensures that even if someone steals your employee’s phone or gets into their cloud software accounts by figuring out their username and passwords, they still can’t access sensitive information.

Two-factor authentication requires your team members to use two separate keys to log into their accounts through their smartphones. This means that rather than just using a username and password, they’ll also need to enter a code sent to an email address or confirm something elsewhere. Although your team member might not appreciate the extra step that comes with two-factor authentication, it’s this additional layer of protection that could transform your business smartphone security strategy.