In the last 18-months, the mobile computing landscape has changed completely. People are bringing their own computers to the office and carrying smartphones and tablet devices that are as powerful as desktop computers were only a short while ago. Here’s how to make sure these devices don’t compromise your organisation.
If you’re in charge of customers’ data, that’s a privilege that the customer has granted you on the basis that you’re going to protect it. Not protecting that data properly means you aren’t providing the right amount of respect to your customer base. Take the time to read security blogs, news and other sources to keep current with the latest cyberthreats.
Rules for use
If you allow workers to bring in personally owned devices, you lose control of where the information is going. Therefore you need to create rules governing the devices you allow into the enterprise and under what circumstance — and what type of information you’ll allow to reside on them.
There are a range of tools available, such as port control and data loss prevention technologies, which can help your team create and implement decisions about the type of information allowed on mobile devices.
Encrypt all personally identifiable information. It’s not hard and products are available at relatively low cost, especially when compared to the cost of a data breach. If somebody loses a laptop in the back of a taxi or somebody drops a USB key, the data won’t be exposed to a third party.
Running a secure operation means ensuring that your people have security ‘street smarts’ so they don’t inadvertently contribute to a breach. Staff education sessions, particularly during staff induction, can ensure people are equipped with the knowledge they need to use devices in a secure manner.
Strong passwords that are changed regularly address two potential vulnerabilities in an IT security system: Strong passwords make it harder to hack into the system by guessing, either manually or using an automated program, while changing the password prevents an authorised user who has compromised a current password from continuing to use it.
Securing devices remotely
Although yet to become standard, features such as remote device locking, wiping and the ability to display on-screen remote protection messages are critical to securing sensitive data stored on mobile devices — and can save you a lot of headaches if a smartphone, tablet or laptop is lost or stolen.
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