If data is breached, all affected users must be notified. Public WiFi represents one of the biggest attacks vectors for all types of mobile devices. The problem is that when workers connect to public WiFi networks, the assumption is that they are safe to use. The truth is that a hacker can easily breach the device, access the network, and steal data.
What is BYOD Bring Your Own Device? | How BYOD Helps to Enterprise?
Some hackers are specifically targeting unsuspected users who access a public WiFi network that looks safe, but is really vulnerable to attacks. The trend is to educate workers about these dangers. All employees should be aware that WiFi networks pose a significant threat, and should be avoided when accessing enterprise apps. The problem is that some employees ignore this advice and go on the public WiFi. To combat this issue, a growing trend in the enterprise is to program the devices in a way that prohibits employees from accessing public WiFi.
History of BYOD
Similar to cellular devices, IoT devices are also vulnerable to the same threats. IT departments recognize this issue, and are addressing it by protecting IoT devices the same way that traditional mobile devices would need it. After all, any endpoint in an enterprise needs to have the best protection.
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The difference is that the recent trend is to take extra steps to protect IoT devices. Some enterprises are actively removing these devices from the main network and placing them in their own isolated network, such as a virtual LAN. By segregating these devices onto a separate firewalled network, there could be fewer security incidents. In addition, some enterprises are enacting extra precautions by disabling certain functions with IoT devices. For example, if a wireless printer which is a considered an IoT device has faxing capabilities that it never uses, a company might shut that function down for security reasons.
These steps make sense for IoT, but not for mobile devices, which usually require full network access. One security protocol that both IoT and traditional mobile devices share is encryption, which is a big trend in the industry. Many organizations are leveraging encryption to protect data.
To understand more about security methods for mobility, here are of the best practices to follow:. For the longest time, having a strong password was the key to securing mobile devices. However, even if an enterprise has strong password policy, breaches can still occur. A two-factor authentication for passwords, which is considered to be a major security protocol, can be breached.
The best alternative for passwords on mobile devices is biometrics. Biometric authentication is when a computer uses measurable biological characteristics, such as face, fingerprint, voice, and iris recognition for identification and providing access. In addition to enhanced security, there are many benefits to leveraging biometrics.
First, it provides more accountability for enterprises, including an active log of users that access the network. It is common for employees to download apps that are not approved by IT. Some of these could be used for work, and others might be downloaded for personal reasons. Either way, those apps that were not approved or designed by the enterprise could be harmful.
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- Securing Your Company’s Mobile Devices.
Malicious apps are of the fastest growing threats to mobile devices. In one year, Google caught over , malicious apps in the Play Store. When an employee inadvertently downloads one, it provides unauthorized access to the company network and critical data. To combat this rising threat, enterprises have two options.
First, all employees should be instructed about the dangers of downloading unapproved apps. This is a good initial step, but some organizations are now banning employees from downloading certain apps on the phone. One of the most important ways to limit mobile device threats is to enforce a strict remote lock and data wipe policy. With this strategy, an organization can ensure that enterprise networks and data receive an extra layer of protection. Under this policy, whenever an enterprise mobile device is believed to be stolen or lost, then the enterprise now has the ability to either remotely lock the device or erase any data on it.
Many IT experts view remote lock and data wipe as one of the most basic security methods. However, there is a bit of controversy to this method. Some employees are concerned that their businesses can delete personal data on the mobile device. To prevent this from happening, enterprises can provision two different environments on a single device —one for the enterprise and one for personal usage. If the enterprise data gets wiped by IT, then the personal data will still be there.
Given the high cost of a corporate data breach, it is imperative that enterprises invest enough resources into the security of mobile devices. By investing in the top solutions, an enterprise can avoid the financial consequences of a data breach. Too often, some organizations are lacking in this area. Every year, you should conduct a review about which software you are using for mobile security, and if that software meets those needs.
Keep your company data safe by securing your mobile workforce
Although it is critical to set up internal device policies that prohibit unauthorized access, those policies are meaningless without the technological capabilities to ensure that employees are following them. This requires real-time insights to see if users are breaking those policies, and to catch potential threats. Breaches often occur because an enterprise user unknowingly downloads a harmful app or leaves their device in public where it can be stolen. IT teams should educate all business users about the role that they should play in protecting devices and enterprise data.
In the future, there will likely be more sophisticated mobile attacks in the enterprise. Although there could be new government regulations to combat the threats, it is not a good idea to wait for the law to catch up with technology. In many cases, IT departments are struggling to keep up with user demands for mobile device access to work email and documents.
Continued stories of hacks into corporate and government networks highlight the need for security at just the time when data is distributed over more devices. In addition, well-intentioned employees often forge ahead using their own mobile devices to access, send and store corporate data. If you and your employees and co-workers use mobile devices for work-related matters, consider the following recommendations:. For more information, please contact Carl Chatto or Patrick Morin.
If you and your employees and co-workers use mobile devices for work-related matters, consider the following recommendations: Consider what types of mobile devices to allow and revisit that periodically. Many businesses have allowed Blackberry phones for a while but are now considering whether to allow iPhone and Android phones. Blackberries use built-in security features as opposed to separate apps used by Apple and Android devices. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of mobile device that you and your IT department should consider as part of the periodic re-evaluation.