The use of mobile devices has revolutionised the way we do business; we can now benefit from instant communication, access information and achieve growth from any location, at any time. In also having access to the internet, email accounts and apps via mobiles and laptops, employees are benefiting from increased flexibility day-to-day. Many UK businesses are now keen to give their staff the freedom to work remotely and use their personal devices to carry out key operations.
But what does this mean for IT security in the workplace?
With the number of devices being implemented in company networks and a rising prominence in cyber crime, business owners are facing higher data security risks, making data protection strategies a more pressing concern.
In fact, research carried out by the University of Glasgow using the mobile phones of employees of a global fortune 500 company, found that hackers could access a device in under 30 seconds. What’s worrying for businesses is that the devices could simply be mirrored or mobile malware could be secretly installed.
The Security Problems Posed by Mobile Devices
• As portable and valuable items, mobile devices or laptops can easily become lost or stolen. Even with a password or lock, in the wrong hands the physical access to an employee’s device could leave sensitive data vulnerable whether it is stored on the device or not.
• By giving employees access to company data outside of the workplace, businesses are opening themselves up to unauthorised users being able to access and manipulate files and passwords etc. A breach involving client or 3rd party data could implicate you legally and mean that you are liable to compensate for any damage or loss.
• There are too, evolving threats with the rapid development of mobile technology. Businesses need to set and continually uphold sufficient security measures alongside new opportunities for technological growth.
How to Improve Your Mobile IT Security
• Complete a security audit: evaluate the use of devices for work tasks in and outside of the workplace, looking at how data is accessed and the current security in place. Doing so will enable you to spot weaknesses in your security and implement the necessary controls and processes for employees.
• Exercise IT security and data protection policies: set out guidelines for device security and acceptable use, ensuring that you have clearly stated what should happen if a device is breached.
• Set authorised app stores for downloaded: ensure that employees only use authorised stores such as Google Play or the Apple App Store for downloading relevant applications.
• Encrypt your data: strengthen the security of your important data and protect against unauthorised access should an employee’s device be compromised.
• Educate employees with security training: consistently improve staff awareness of the importance of security and data protection through training and reminders, especially when using their own personal devices. Also highlight the consequences of not carrying out the required processes and procedures.
At Net Technical Solutions we work with businesses of all sizes to implement and improve workplace security. To discuss your IT security with our experienced team or to find out more about our services, why not give us a call on 01252 235 235? Or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.