The Top 7 Tips to Securing Mobile Data

Regardless of the size of your business, inadequate security policies put you at risk.

And the cost associated with a security breach is rising, according to a 2018 report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute. They found a 10% increase over the five years studied:

“The average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in the 2018 study, compared to $3.50 million in 2014.”

Not only that, but US companies seem to get hit hardest, with an average cost per breach of $7.81 million.

The need for comprehensive security policies is well documented. But did you know this should extend to mobile devices too?

Here are 7 things you need to keep mobile data secure:

1. Document a password policy for your staff

Thorough IT security policies are the cornerstone of any organization’s security efforts.

They let your staff know what is expected from them — and provide a framework for you to hold them accountable.

One policy that’s essential for securing mobile data is a password policy.

In this policy, you should set clear guidelines to help your employees choose strong passwords.

2. Encrypt mobile devices

In the event of an attempted breach, encryption can help prevent your data from getting into the wrong hands.

The best way to do this is with full disk encryption (FDE). This encrypts all the data stored on the mobile device — protecting it even when the device itself is stolen.

To decrypt the data, the user requires an authentication key. Without it, cybercriminals can’t access the data.

3. Manage third-party app installations

According to Symantec’s recent report, 24,000 malicious mobile applications are blocked daily.

Most threats come from the lifestyle category (27%), followed by music (20%) and books/reference applications (10%).

This means the installation of third-party apps can introduce spyware and viruses onto your organization’s mobile devices.

Without a clear policy, it’s likely your employees will download applications onto their corporate smartphones.

Configure all mobile devices to ensure employees can only install approved apps.

4. Ensure all devices run on the latest software

To keep your mobile devices healthy, you need to ensure they are updated with the latest software releases.

Smartphone developers release updates to software regularly. These include essential security updates, as well as changes to make the devices run more efficiently.

If you fail to keep your devices up-to-date, you make them vulnerable to cybercrime — so make updates a priority.

5. Provide adequate training for all employees

This one is pretty simple:

If your employees don’t know how to keep their devices secure, how do you expect them to do it?

For example, it’s a best practice to avoid unsecured wireless networks — but not everyone knows this.

Ensure all employees with mobile devices undergo dedicated training. Update their knowledge when new threats emerge.

6. Install anti-malware software onto each device

As we’ve already established, mobile devices are not immune to malware. But many people don’t realize we need to protect all devices from these threats.

Thankfully, there’s now a wide range of security software solutions specifically designed to protect mobile data. Find the right one for your business and ensure it’s installed onto each device.

7. Perform regular backups

Mobile data should also be a key consideration for your disaster recovery plan

This should include regular backups. These can happen automatically, with data transferred directly into the cloud.

Do you need to know more about mobile data security? Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.