There is a great debate when it comes to using mobile devices for work purposes, it’s flexibility vs. security. As employees begin to become more mobile, lost laptops and smartphones (especially a Buy Your Own Phone) present an expanding mobile security risk for your business.
This is the quandary employers face. Employees want to check their devices all the time, having emails and documents fit seamlessly into their experience scrolling through an Instagram feed. Although making work part of everyday life benefits business, it leaves a company’s data vulnerable to hacking.
IT leaders know very well of this problem. In fact, a recent survey revealed that more than 70% of IT leaders admit they are at risk from not being able to control employees’ mobile devices. The need for companies to require employees to use security safeguards to ensure their information is protected, whether at the office or the beach, is palpable.
Having an IT person in place to manage your mobile devices across multiple operating systems and service providers will help minimize your mobile security risk. Integritechs offers security software to protect the data on your employees’ phones. For example, these security apps can scan for risky wifi networks, or be disabled when stolen. FireEye, Lookout, and Better Mobile are some of the best names in the mobile threat defense market. At the very least, businesses should enforce complicated passwords that are regularly changed.
Mobile Security Risk Threats:
Smart phones are sleek, small, and the perfect travel companion, but they are also easily stolen or lost. Once someone has an employee’s cell phone, the data is officially compromised. A tech-savvy hacker would be able to bypass most passwords in seconds, and even access encrypted data. A hacker can also access corporate data and email via saved passwords in the iPhone keychain. To make matters worse, it is impossible to fully remove data from a phone. A built-in factory reset allows data to be recovered even when it has been manually deleted. Because of this large hurdle, it is vital for a company to have an IT team that can do everything they can to combat this.
Malware and Hardware Threats
Malware threats are made to trick a user into accepting what the hacker is selling –this includes spammy links on social media and rogue apps. On mobile, you don’t have to deal with the malware downloads, mobile ads are beginning to become a main point of attack. Attacks targeted at the phone itself are similar to the PC attacks decades ago. Hackers often take advantage of SMS and MSS texts, sending a link in them that is malicious.
Phones that allow wifi use are vulnerable to technology that is able to hack into wireless networks to perform an attack. Data transmission can be intercepted, and hackers can take advantage of weaknesses in wifi security. For companies that have employees that use free wifi at coffee shops, a friend’s house, the risk is extremely high to be hacked. When logging onto an enterprise system under free wifi, an employee is potentially giving hackers access to their entire database.
Increased employee productivity creates a risky situation, but with the proper IT precautions in place, it is possible. With well-implemented programs in place, your company can keep your employees happy and your company data secure.