Network Security Concern for Your Business (Part 5): Stolen or Lost Devices

stolendevicesWhen employees work remotely they can get more done, but remote work also greatly increases the risks to a business: Mobile devices and laptops are highly vulnerable to security threats, and those threats are rising. These devices face the same malware and phishing attacks common among desktop computers, but there’s another, more basic danger. A company can lose its data when an employee simply loses the device. To protect themselves, businesses must take measures to avoid letting their corporate data literally slip through their employees’ fingers.

These devices face the same malware and phishing attacks common among desktop computers, but there’s another, more basic danger. A company can lose its data when an employee simply loses the device. To protect themselves, businesses must take measures to avoid letting their corporate data literally slip through their employees’ fingers.

To protect themselves, businesses must take measures to avoid letting their corporate data literally slip through their employees’ fingers. It may also be time to hire a managed IT solutions company to handle IT for you.

First, Create a Policy:

Creating a remote access policy is an important part of your IT strategic planning in Oklahoma City. Start by defining what remote usage is allowed: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Choose Your Own Device (CYOD). Employees often prefer BYOD because they can use the devices they already own, but they’re sometimes reluctant to give companies the ability to monitor what they do with those devices. CYOD gives you more control over the capabilities of the devices that connect to your network.

Your policy should specify what kinds of applications are acceptable on devices that connect to corporate networks and whether it is permissible to email documents or use cloud storage to make them available outside the office. Employees should also be informed that connecting these devices to the networks grants the employer permission to monitor usage and to delete data from the devices.

Keep Device Data Secure:

Require strong passwords and lock screens on all personal devices. Because different devices offer different controls, this is easier to enforce under CYOD. Whenever possible, passwords should comply with strong password rules rather than being a simple four-digit PIN. Some devices use fingerprints instead of passwords, which offers additional security. You can also keep locally stored data secure by requiring encryption on devices. Some newer devices even provide full-device encryption by default.

Educate Employees:

In order to gain employee compliance with company policies, you must educate employees about data security risks on mobile devices. These dangers include using unsecured Wi-Fi connections and public charging stations. Make sure employees understand the need for strong passwords and teach them how to identify phishing emails. Inform employees of trustworthy sites for downloading software.

Secure Your Systems:

Don’t rely on your BYOD policy and the security features on devices to keep your data safe. All corporate applications should be protected by multifactor authentication when appropriate. Be prepared to block devices from connecting to your networks and require VPN connections where practical.

Enable Remote Monitoring and Wiping:

Ensuring the privacy of your data in case a device is lost may require the ability to erase data from the device, so make sure you have access to remotely wipe data. You should also do this when an employee leaves your firm. It’s preferable to implement a granular wipe that deletes only corporate-owned data, but this may not be possible in all cases. Employees should be aware their personal information might be removed; they should be instructed how to back up data they need to preserve.

Use Mobile Device Management Software:

You can simplify the process of tracking how mobile devices are being used in your business with mobile device management software. These products help with the provisioning and configuring mobile devices, assist with deploying software, support monitoring, and enable remote wipes when necessary.

Get Pro Help From a Managed IT Solutions Company:

Allowing mobile device usage requires businesses to balance the risks with the benefits. An IT audit in Oklahoma City lets you identify where you’re most vulnerable and plan steps to strengthen your defenses. Dobson Technologies is the Oklahoma City leader in information technology services and can improve your network security with a managed IT solution. Contact us to receive a free security assessment and protect your valuable business data.