Mobile phone technology has been a boon for most businesses. The ability to have staff stay in digital contact no matter where they are is incredibly useful at times. It also presents one of the biggest risks to modern business.
No, we’re not talking about unauthorised phone calls or time wasted playing strangely addictive mobile games. Smartphones, which are essentially small mobile computers, can open up your business network to many threats, including hackers and viruses. It’s just as important to have protection plans in place for your workers’ mobiles as it is for your office computers.
Not everyone in a company needs access to all files, and not everything needs to be sent via mobile devices. The best way to protect your network is to restrict remote access to those who really need it. A second part of this is establishing a protocol that restricts the number of files that are kept on phones and sent via external internet connections.
Staff members using smartphones for work can’t protect your business if they don’t know the threats. Provide training on your smartphone use and digital information policies – but first create those policies if you don’t have them. Provide firewall, virus, spyware and malware protection on the devices themselves, or engage a specialist to provide some business assistance if you’re not certain.
It’s also important to train staff on the threats that are out there. Hold a training session which outlines the vulnerabilities of smartphones. This should cover the cybersnooping that commonly occurs on free public internet connections, the vulnerability of any information sent over a public network, and the ,strong>things that can happen if the phone itself is lost or stolen.
There are quite a few aspects of a smartphone that need securing. The first is the phone itself. Password-locking should be standard practice for work phones. Stolen phones are incredibly difficult to track down, but enabling GPS tracking on your phones can also help should the phone be misplaced.
The second thing is to secure the internet browser on the phone. Smartphones are just as vulnerable to malware and viruses as regular computers – perhaps more so, because so few smartphone users properly protect their phones.
The third thing is to protect the business information on or sent from the phone. If possible, have staff use only SSL connections when checking in. If not, either encrypt information sent from the phone or find ways to limit vulnerabilities.
As you can see, many of the strategies for protecting your business from mobile phone threats are similar to regular computer network protections. Smartphones should be treated as mini-computers, particularly when they grant staff remote access to your network. Getting business assistance from a tech expert can be a worthwhile investment.