The use of mobile devices has skyrocketed in companies worldwide. As such, IT departments are in a never-ending struggle to provide solid mobility solutions for an unlimited number of devices. How can organizations allow open mobile usage, keep workers safe, and maintain the integrity of their data simultaneously?
A stringent mobile device security policy is the key. A policy that details and enforces what users can and cannot do with their devices, while defining individual profiles for each user. Below are the top 10 Steps to Mobile Security:
The first step to securing the mobile environment is encryption. Encryption prohibits data access to unauthorized individuals and provides a safeguard if the device is lost or stolen; parties without proper credentials will be unable to access encrypted information.
2. Policies for Acceptable Use
Policy enforcement is critical to maintain a secure environment. This policy should assess and address all inherent risks of mobile usage in your organization. The policy should include password usage, application usage, Internet browsing and downloading restrictions.
3. Monitor Data Usage
Sensitive data should be monitored and regulated consistently and granted on an “as needed” basis only, to reduce the risk of data breaches. Content filtering applications provide an additional layer of security and control for a company’s mobility solutions. To enhance your network's security even greater, consider a managed security solution.
4. Setup Remote Wiping
Remote wiping is an indispensable and common security feature found in numerous devices. Remote wiping removes all information stored on a device—reverting back to its factory condition. For example, Microsoft Exchange Server allows sending remote commands to wipe a mobile device of its data, including any Exchange information.
5. Utilize Password Locks
A stolen or lost mobile device is at highest risk for a data breach. Mobile devices should be setup with a password of 12 characters or less, to contain symbols, alpha and numeric characters. Moreover, the unit should be set to lock when not used for several minutes—requiring the correct password to unlock.
6. Grant Tiered Access
Some individuals put themselves at higher risk when using mobile devices than others. Create and implement a policy outlining which individuals’ are more prone to introduce risk based on their habits. Mitigate these risks with security protocols and user access limitations.
7. Utilize a VPN
Virtual private networks use encryption techniques and authentication to connect mobile users to company resources. VPN is considerably more secure than encrypting data alone, as traffic sent on the network remains isolated from other users on the network. For highly sensitive and confidential information, use a VPN.
8. Install Device Locators
If a lost or stolen device is used in acts of criminal activity, mobile locator software can help law enforcement track the perpetrators. In addition, data on a lost device can be secured when the device is found, saving the IT department’s precious time and resources.
9. Use a Firewall
Mobile devices are a substantial security risk to a company’s network. Installing an application-based or host-based firewall provides a barrier between the device and the network, and only allows traffic deemed as safe to pass through.
10. Use Antivirus Software
Most users inadvertently download harmful malware that can cause significant harm to the device and the company’s supporting network. The device may show no signs of infection; meanwhile, confidential information is being uploaded to a remote server. Install antivirus software, or partner with an anti-virus services provider, to prevent a costly infection.
In the end, making a mobile security policy successful is a group effort. Each individual must be responsible for securing the data and abiding by the security policies outlined by their companies. Are you doing your part to ensure mobile security?