Most small to midsize businesses are savvy when it comes to PC security. However, with the rapid growth of mobile devices in the workplace, many businesses lag behind in mobile security.
In fact, MacAfee Labs reports that 2.4 million unique pieces of mobile malware were recently found, compared with only 300,000 in 2014 — a sharp increase of 800 percent.
Keeping mobile data safe is a priority, and employee-owned devices introduce additional complexity to that issue. So what is the best strategy for ramping up protection? The first step is education. Employees must understand the risks and their roles in protecting critical data.
Here are five steps that can help you secure mobile devices in your SMB:
Keep software updated. Attackers look for weaknesses in program coding, which is why mobile updates are frequently released. One of the best safeguards employees can deploy is promptly installing these updates, many of which can resolve prior coding weaknesses.
Discourage practices such as “jailbreaking.” This practice overrides factory settings and typically provides the device owner with additional functionality. But it’s not without a cost, which is vulnerability to attacks. Employees need to understand that jailbreaking can alter built-in security features, which introduces additional security threats.
Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Free Wi-Fi makes it easy to get work done on the move. But it also makes it less secure. Discourage employees from using open networks to log in to business applications.
Wipe data clean when recycling or selling the phone. At some point, technology advances and it’s time for an upgrade. During the replacement process, ensure that old devices are wiped and restored to their original factory settings for added security.
Partner with an MSP. At times, SMBs overlook mobile security threats that could negatively impact their business. But an MSP can identify these issues and suggest solutions that ensure all devices are operating safely and risks of breaches are mitigated.