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Mobile Device Security Best Practicesprotect your important data from corruption or even cyber attacks like ransomware infections.

It’s not enough just to have the policy in place, either — you’ll need to test, evaluate, and revise these policies on a regular basis to ensure your network remains secure. Any device that connects to your network could pose a threat, so it’s imperative that you build a security policy that gives your users the ability to work effortlessly while protecting the integrity of your organization’s network.

What are mobile device security best practices you could implement to up your current security level? Let’s take a look.

Microsoft Exchange and Mobile Devices

Most businesses rely on Microsoft Exchange as their e-mail platform, although in the past few years Gmail has begun to be more commonly used as well.

One of the best features of Exchange 2013 is businesses being able to set up strict security requirements for those users authorized to use mobile devices to access official e-mail accounts. Administrators can log in to the Exchange Control Panel (or ECP) and set up mobile device mailbox policies from the mobile tab on the left-hand side of the administration panel. From there, the admin will be able to customize policies like:

  • Mandatory mobile device encryption
  • Complex password requirements for the device
  • How many incorrect entries are allowed before the device automatically wipes
  • And more…

These security features help to prevent the most sensitive data from being shared, purposefully or not, with unwanted third parties and are great steps towards preventing misuse in case of a loss or theft of the physical device.

User Training Sessions for Mobile Device Security

One aspect of reliable network security that is often left by the wayside is simply keeping your actual users informed of possible threats and trained on how to deal with the possibility of a cyber attack or data loss.

Most organizations require an initial briefing on basic security procedures (or maintain an Employee Handbook with these policies included and require new hires to familiarize themselves with it). However, employees are often not updated on new security threats or procedures on a real-time basis, leaving the vast majority of employees underinformed. Current security policies, including those on mobile device security, should be part of regular updates from your IT team to your overall staff to keep them up-to-date and briefed on what’s expected of them when connecting to the company network using their mobile or off-site devices.

Mobile device security training should focus on best practices, key threats, and common scenarios the user may encounter. Many of today’s biggest cyber security threats are specifically designed and targeted to affect mobile devices, so any user with BYOD access should be required to attend regular training (at least once per year) to make sure they stay refreshed and updated on current policies.

Require Antivirus and Antimalware Apps

Pew Research states that 68% of Americans use a smartphone and 45% of Americans have a tablet. This leaves a huge amount of users vulnerable to the current spate of mobile-targeted cyber security threats.

Given how rapidly mobile devices are adopted and updated, many users remain shockingly unaware of how vulnerable they really are. If a malicious app or program gains access to a user’s contact list, company e-mail or documents, or any other sensitive information that might be stored there, hackers can easily use this information to launch a social engineering attack or even to break into your organization’s network.

There are protection programs available, including some enterprise-level anti-virus suites that include a mobile edition of their application, easy for you to deploy to any mobile devices connected to the official network. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware also exists for mobile use, which is another layer of defense against more advanced mobile vulnerabilities.

Third Party Solutions

Allowing your employees to connect to your company network or access essential company data securely is essentially impossible without the use of specialized third-party applications. It’s important to take a look into your industry, and what unique auditing requirements are associated with your data and how display on mobile or off-site devices may be affected.

For example, medical organizations must adhere to HIPAA requirements, and such organizations often elect to use containerization and virtualized apps. These allow users to securely view medical documents on mobile devices while maintaining the high privacy standards HIPAA requires. Other industries may not require such sophisticated solutions, but it’s important to do your research and be sure before choosing an app that could leave you in trouble down the line for not matching security requirements for your industry.

Mobile Device Security Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

Off-site or mobile device security policies aren’t something that should be implemented in a rush. You’ll need to take your time in order to correctly gauge the level of security that you’ll need to provide for your employees to both protect your organization and also maintain their ability to use their devices effectively. To develop and implement a truly comprehensive mobile device and off-site security policy for your company or organization, you’ll want to schedule an IT security audit in order to find your organization and craft a plan to strengthen your defenses from the ground up.

Need a Plan? You Need BACS

BACS prides ourselves on being right at the forefront of new innovations and changes in technology, especially as it relates to running (and growing) your business. We’ve worked with everything from Silicon Valley startups just getting off the ground to large enterprises with unique industry requirements, and we’re available for clients nationwide from our home base here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online to schedule your IT security audit today!

How secure is your system? Find out before bad guys do. Request an IT Security Audit today!

Published on 12th September 2016 by James Berger.