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Enterprise Mobility: Security is essential

August 8, 2014 • Features, Top Stories

Device Security

While Enterprise Mobility not only assists the employee, it also gives your company a competitive advantage over your competition.

Enterprise Mobilty holds many benefits; however, there are several things that need to be considered when venturing into it.

Whether your company is based in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, USA, or even the United Kingdom – becoming a mobile enterprise will offer many benefits and opportunities for your company. Employees are essentially happier when they know they have access to a variety of job critical tools that will help them get the job done. These tools include mobile apps, smartphones, tablets, laptops, access to email and more importantly, access to software and data that will ultimately allow them to seal a business deal within the very meeting they are attending.

While Enterprise Mobility not only assists the employee, it also gives your company a competitive advantage over your competition. However, security can be a major concern when venturing into Enterprise Mobility. There are many factors to consider when venturing into Enterprise Mobility. The security concerns range from password enforcement, encrypting devices, data leaks, theft of devices, and unauthorised access to business critical documents.

The loss of a mobile phone or laptop, for instance, can be costly if these devices fall into the wrong hands. Not only is the businesses placed at risk, but the employee too. If not secured correctly, devices can be accessed within minutes. By gaining access to unsecured devices, individuals can access company documents, email accounts, social media profiles and a variety of personal and business related data. This is where security becomes absolutely essential, especially when it comes to Enterprise Mobility.

What can you do to protect your data and devices?

Secure it
Technology has always moved at an extremely fast rate; however, no matter whether you are using a Nokia 3210 or an Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone, chances are you have activated the devices security pin or pass code. Passwords have always been at the forefront of mobile security. As a standard, any company that ventures into the world of Enterprise Mobility should always secure any device given out to an employee with a unique password. These passwords should be monitored and changed every 30 days. If a device has been stolen, chances are that the individual who stole the equipment won’t have the time nor the patience to try “crack the code”. However, they will essentially try and wipe the device. Without a pin or password, the individual who has stolen the device will have access to every file, social media account, as well as potential access to bank accounts.

Cloud is critical
While a device wipe will essentially be a major blow to any corporation that may have recovered a stolen device, there are ways to backup your data. Many smart devices and laptops come with Cloud-based storage. Employees who upload crucial data to the company’s Cloud server can potentially avoid losing critical data and information. While many companies are weary of the Cloud, it can essentially save your data. Employees should be asked to backup any critical data to the Cloud at regular intervals, or even save their documents directly to the cloud. By utilising cloud storage, a company can easily recover data that was lost in the event of theft or damage to a device.

Remote device wiping could save your business
Apple introduced us to a very important app called “Find My iPhone”. While the app could be used to locate the device by GPS as well as allowing the device to sound off an alarm, its key feature is one that essentially wipes all the data off of the device. Most laptops and smartphones can now have similar software installed on the device. Once a device has been lost or stolen, users can log into the system remotely and wipe the device clean. It is software like this that will essentially save your business from having crucial data accessed.

Online security and virus software is essential
While an individual who has stolen a device can cause irreparable damage, so can online threats. Viruses, Trojans and Malware may sound like gibberish to some; however, they can not only cause damage to a device, but they can also be used to gain remote access into a device – without the user being aware. Hackers can attempt to access financial records, social media accounts, and personal files and folders. Bank accounts can be emptied in minutes and files stolen in seconds. Without the proper online and anti-virus protection, your device can be attacked within seconds of connecting to an internet connection.

When equipping an employee with a mobile device or laptop, a business should always ensure that those devices are protected. Each device should be scanned once a week as well as have its security systems updated on daily basis.

Personal Wi-Fi is better than public Wi-Fi
Just about every coffee shop, corner store and restaurant has Wi-Fi that is widely available to thousands of people each day. In a recent survey, conducted by Kaspersky Lab, 70% of tablet owners and 53% of smartphone/mobile phone owners stated that they use public Wi-Fi hotspots. However, because data sent through public Wi-Fi can easily be intercepted, many mobile device and laptop users are risking the security of their personal and business information, digital identity, and money. Furthermore, if their device or computer is not protected by an effective security and anti-malware product… the risks are even greater.

Thankfully, mobile operators have designed personal Wi-Fi hotspots. These devices can be loaded with data bundles, which will allow employees to access the internet in a more secure way. By equipping your mobile staff with these devices, your company can drastically lower the risk of having data intercepted over public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Here are some useful tips from Kaspersky Lab’s team of Internet security experts:

Be aware
Public Wi-Fi is inherently insecure – so be cautious.

Remember – any device could be at risk
Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are all susceptible to the wireless security risks.

Treat all Wi-Fi links with suspicion
Don’t just assume that the Wi-Fi link is legitimate. It could be a bogus link that has been set up by a cybercriminal that’s trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users. Question everything – and don’t connect to an unknown or unrecognized wireless access point.

Try to verify it’s a legitimate wireless connection
Some bogus links – that have been set up by malicious users – will have a connection name that’s deliberately similar to the coffee shop, hotel, or venue that’s offering free Wi-Fi. If you can speak with an employee at the location that’s providing the public Wi-Fi connection, ask for information about their legitimate Wi-Fi access point – such as the connection’s name and IP address.

Use a VPN (virtual private network)
By using a VPN when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you’ll effectively be using a ‘private tunnel’ that encrypts all of your data that passes through the network. This can help to prevent cybercriminals – that are lurking on the network – from intercepting your data.

Avoid using specific types of website
It’s a good idea to avoid logging into websites where there’s a chance that cybercriminals could capture your identity, passwords, or personal information – such as social networking sites, online banking services, or any websites that store your credit card information.

Consider using your cell phone
If you need to access any websites that store or require the input of any sensitive information – including social networking, online shopping, and online banking sites – it may be worthwhile accessing them via your cell phone network, instead of the public Wi-Fi connection.

Protect your device against cyberattacks
Make sure all of your devices are protected by a rigorous anti-malware and security solution – and ensure that it’s updated as regularly as possible.

Darryl Linington

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