Device Advice: Securing Mobile Data

Device Advice: Securing Mobile Data

IT Security Management

We've got a really simple survey for all of you concerned about your IT Security out there today.

Can you answer these questions?

  • What data do your staff carry with them?
  • Where is the data?
  • How is the data protected?

Whether you like it or not, you will have staff bringing their own devices to work and using it to hold company data. An example of this is with smart phones. It's really common for staff to receive emails, and it grows from there. Think file attachments, downloads, password access and more.

According to Australia Mobile Telecommunications Association, 150,000 requests to block lost mobile phones are reported each year.

Should companies take control of phones that access company data?

I, like all business owners, think the answer should be a resounding yes.

It’s actually quite a controversial idea. Many employees would balk at the idea of their employer having access or restriction.  Yet it will only be a matter of time before this becomes a common workplace practice. Because you can read all the handy tips you want on what individuals can do to keep data secure for personal use. But when company data is involved, it becomes a different story.

You now have a responsibility to your clients to manage and control that data. Mobile networks are high risk. Transferring valuable and sensitive private data poses a significant threat.

The scary thing is, so many users ignore or blatantly disregard recommended security settings.

Which is crazy. Your mobile doesn’t  have to be physically stolen for your data to be vulnerable. Open networks and unsafe practices are often perpetuated.  Lines can blur when the personal and professional intersect in hand held devices. They shouldn't though. Confusing the differences between public and private cloud services is a simple error. Yet many employees make this mistake. And it can be the catalyst for a catastrophic security breach.

So how do you protect data on mobile networks?

It’s a complicated issue. With a whole suite of options to protect you and your customers vulnerabilities. However, it has to be a whole business approach to be a viable solution. Just one weak link and you may expose yourself to the worst of the threats and hackers out there. Your managed service provider should be pushing this reality on you.

If you can’t answer those three questions with any degree of surety, you need to get assessed. It might be time to get in touch with an IT managed service provider who can run you through a security assessment. Because at the end of the day, can your business afford the risk?