It seems like there are so many scams going around now, how do I secure my work devices?
Doctor Digital Says
Gone are the days when the most sensitive information on an employee’s phone was their contact list phone numbers. Now a smartphone or tablet can be used to gain access to anything from emails to stored passwords to proprietary company data and trade secrets. With the advent of 5G technology making accessibility easier and faster, more and more companies have adopted mobile technology as a normal part of the business - but while this has made it easier to get people working remotely, it has also expanded the number of devices where data can be breached. The need for mobile devices will continue, so its important if you are in a business where there are devices out and about that you are as secure as possible. Happily, it isn't difficult to put some policies and practices in place to make that happen. There are several factors that can make a mobile device vulnerable to a data breach. Here are some common vulnerabilities to consider that we commonly see in the Digital Ready when it comes to small businesses and mobile devices:
- Lack of encryption: If data stored on a mobile device is not encrypted, it can be easily accessed by anyone who gains access to the device.
- Weak passwords or lack of password protection: A weak or easily guessed password, or the lack of password protection altogether, can make it easy for attackers to gain access to the device and its data.
- Outdated software: If a mobile device's software is not regularly updated, it may contain known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.
- Unsecured Wi-Fi networks: Public Wi-Fi networks can be easily intercepted, which can allow attackers to intercept data being sent to and from a mobile device.
- Malware: Malicious software, such as viruses, trojans, and spyware, can be installed on a mobile device and used to steal sensitive information.
- Phishing attacks: Phishing attacks can be used to trick mobile device users into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials or credit card information.
- Third-party apps: Apps downloaded from unofficial app stores or from unknown developers can contain malware or other security vulnerabilities that can be used to gain access to a mobile device's data.
By understanding these vulnerabilities and taking steps to mitigate them, businesses can help protect themselves and their data from a data breach. To fix the laundry list above, here are some simple steps you can take to make sure your devices are secure. Most of these are quick and easy fixes that are free or low cost.
- Set up strong passwords: Encourage employees to use strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect their accounts from unauthorized access. Consider using password managers to generate and store complex passwords securely.
- Implement mobile device management (MDM) software: MDM software can help you manage and secure your mobile devices, enforce security policies, and remotely wipe data if a device is lost or stolen.
- Encrypt data: Enable encryption on your mobile devices to prevent unauthorized access to your sensitive data in case of theft or loss.
- Keep software up-to-date: Regularly update your mobile device's operating system, applications, and antivirus software to ensure that you have the latest security patches and fixes.
- Limit app permissions: Review app permissions and only grant the necessary permissions to apps that require them. Be cautious about installing apps from third-party sources.
- Train employees: Train employees on how to recognize and avoid phishing emails, malware, and other cyber threats. Encourage them to report suspicious activity and to use caution when accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi networks.
The last tip is the big one. The majority of data breeches follow human error where someone has unwittingly, or by being deceived by scammers, opened the door to data or sensitive information being accessible by bad actors that have ill intent. These people prey on business owners and staff being busy, stressed, and multi-tasking so they are less likely to closely scrutinise a spoof email or text that looks legit.
Making sure all staff are aware of the increased incidences of people and businesses being scammed, as well as knowing how to update software, encrypt data and make sure their permissions are appropriate makes good cyber security everyones business. By following the tips listed above, you can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach and protect your small business's sensitive information on mobile devices while staying agile, out and about and more importantly meeting your customers and staff where they are at.
Need to get your cybersecurity sorted?. Why not start with our Digital Ready Fundamentals course, designed to give you all you need to get on track in a quick, easy, actionable video format. Then go deep with some one on one Digital Ready coaching experiences and you will be safe and sound across all your business arenas.