Professionals can now use mobile devices to make communication and data sharing more convenient.
But this also means that information on your team members' mobile devices is no longer limited to just phone numbers and contacts. Instead, they now contain more significant data, such as emails, passwords, and other account details.
Unfortunately, the protection for tablets and smartphones isn't as robust as that of desktops and laptops.
Anti-malware applications may be present but are less powerful than their computer counterparts. In addition, many devices don't support certain measures and applications that enhance business security.
Fortunately, you can still implement effective safety measures to protect your smartphones and tablets.
For over 25 years, WEBIT Services has helped clients discover and apply effective security practices. It is passionate about knowledge, education, and online safety
By reading this article, you will learn nine best practices for improving cybersecurity on mobile devices.
9 Practices to better protect your professional mobile devices
1. Establish a security policy
Create an effective usage policy before issuing tablets or smartphones to your teams. Define rules about acceptable use and determine the penalties for violating them.
Your employees must be aware of the security risks and measures that can help them reduce the risks. In addition, they should know that they are the first line of defense against cybercrime.
Furthermore, develop a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy if you permit your team to use a personal device for business. For example, your company policy can include the following:
- Requirements for the installation and remote software wiping on any personal device that stores or accesses company data.
- Employee training and education on safeguarding company information when using wireless networks on their mobile devices.
- Data protection methods that include automatic locking or other security measures applicable after long inactivity periods.
- Protocols for lost and stolen devices.
- The use of security software and antivirus platform.s
- Backup requirements.
2. Update operating systems
Updating Android and iOS operating systems addresses security vulnerabilities.
Install updates when the developer rolls them out to reduce exposure to cybersecurity threats. Delaying it may give criminals enough time to take advantage of outdated operating systems.
3. Enable password protection
A complex password or PIN can help prevent cybercriminals from accessing mobile devices. In addition, you can also use facial or fingerprint recognition, depending on what suits your employees.
If you opt for digits and letters, don't share the combination with people outside your company. On top of that, be sure that your staff doesn't store them on their phones.
4. Install business programs only on professional devices
Lenient download policies can allow your team members to install non-business apps. Downloading apps might seem harmless, but they are infamous for harmful advertising codes and other threats.
To mitigate this risk, tell your employees they can only download and use apps necessary for their roles.
5. Avoid public WiFi connections
Your team may need to use public WiFi networks in emergencies to send crucial emails or schedule a meeting. However, connecting to public networks can expose confidential company information to cybercriminals using the same network.
The easiest way to minimize this risk is to provide a high-quality internet plan with roaming services for remote workers. However, this may not be an option for every business.
If there's no way to avoid public WiFi connections, a reputable virtual private network (VPN) or secure global network (SGN) may do the trick. It can help shield your data by creating direct, secure links from your location to the intended website.
6. Enable phone tracking software
Enabling Android Phone Tracker, Find My Phone on iOS, or other device-tracking software can help locate lost smartphones. Some programs also allow you to remove data on your stolen devices remotely.
Installing these apps takes a few minutes and gives you much-needed peace of mind. With it, cybercriminals are less likely to get their hands on the content even if your staff loses their mobile device.
7. Incorporate MDM (Mobile Device Management Software)
For even more security, you may want to integrate with reliable MDM. It's an excellent way to separate personal and business information.
In most cases, cloud-based software is the most affordable, flexible, and manageable type of MDM. Many platforms let you check out device information, update and manage apps, configure your devices, create usage restrictions, and remove content remotely.
If possible, implement MDM software that enforces security measures across all devices. This can include data encryption, strong passwords, and setting up containers to separate personal information from enterprise data.
8. Screen messages carefully for SMS phishing
Cybercriminals frequently employ SMS phishing to trick your team into clicking dangerous links. They pose as someone credible, asking your staff to share confidential information.
If your employees encounter such messages, they should delete them or alert the IT department. Another great idea is to avoid opening the SMS and block the sender.
9. Blocking and whitelisting applications
Many threats can compromise your company due to employee errors. For example, a team member may not realize they're downloading a malicious app that allows thieves to steal data from their mobile devices.
Blocking and whitelisting applications and websites on professional devices can enable you to protect your employees from these risks by determining which sites and apps are safe.
On one hand, blocking specific applications can give your IT department peace of mind and alert them when someone tries to access those applications.
On the other hand, whitelists help highlight the tools your team should prioritize over social media and games.
Next steps for securing your professional mobile devices
Mobile devices are increasingly popular targets for cybercriminals. As such, users should take proactive security measures much like they would for a computer.
The following nine best practices can help businesses secure their professional mobile devices:
- Establish a security policy
- Update operating systems
- Enable password protection
- Install business programs only on professional devices
- Avoid public WiFi connections
- Enable phone tracking software
- Incorporate MDM (Mobile Device Management Software)
- Screen messages carefully for SMS phishing
- Blocking and whitelisting applications
Talk to your IT provider or internal IT team about creating or updating your security policies, procedures, and applications to help protect your company data.
WEBIT Services has educated clients in cybersecurity and has helped clients establish effective security procedures.
If you are looking for a new IT provider, schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see how WEBIT Services can help.
If you aren't ready to make a commitment but would like to learn more about mobile devices and the dangers of cybercrime, we recommend the following articles:
- Spam and phishing emails: what they are and how to identify them
- How to safely use public WiFi networks
- 7 questions to consider about your BYOD policy
- Mobile devices for your business | 5 Questions to consider