How to protect your business Mobile Phones

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Business Mobile Phones

Given the growing mix of smartphones and tablets that now often double up for both business and personal use, these devices are among the most difficult company assets to manage and protect. The mobile office increases security risks, particularly via the devices that enable us to work from home, coffee shops and hotel rooms.

Business mobile phones and tablets create different challenges than traditional enterprise computing, where everything is integrated and better protected. It’s very hard to drop a mainframe, but it is easy for a device that you carry about with you in your handbag or briefcase to be destroyed or lost.

What should always be considered with business mobile phones and devices is that these smartphones operate more like a computer than a phone.  Because they enable us to browse the internet, they work very much like a portable office and that capability means you and your employees are at risk for viruses and other security breaches.

Should the worst happen, and one of these devices get lost or stolen, not only is the employees personal information lost, but now everything from company emails to client contact information could potentially be unprotected.  Sensitive data that by not protecting you’re actually breaching legislation.

How to keep business mobile phones secure:

  1. Give employees the tools to find their devices if they go missing. One way to do that is to attach a digital alert/phone halo to company smartphones. These devices alert the owner when they are about to leave their device behind.  With these products the user carries a small sensor/tag either in a wallet or on a key chain, the alarm sounds when the owner reaches a distance from their phone. Software is available for both Apple smartphone platforms and Android equivalents, they also work with tablet computers like the iPad.
  2. Encrypt data on mobile phones. The information stored on your mobile phones can include key telephone numbers, important messages and emails. To keep it safe, scramble it with encryption. This ensures that even if the mobile phone gets lost or stolen, a thief will be unable to access the information. Some mobile phones can encrypt data as standard. Others require special applications – ask your IT supplier for details.
  3. Device disposal and recycling Organizations must be proactive and thorough when disposing of smart phones, because those devices still may have sensitive data stored in them. Such devices should be destroyed at the end of their service, with consideration to having the device and memory cards ground up to make it impossible to retrieve embedded data.
  4. Use mobile security software. For maximum security, treat business mobile phones as if they were computers in your company. That means installing security software – like Symantec’s Mobile Security for Android and Windows-based mobile devices. This will keep you protected from mobile phone viruses and can prevent guard against spam and other threats.
  5. Make sure your IT policies include mobile phones. It make seem obvious that you would protect your mobile devises seen as you often use them more than other piece of IT equipment, but in fact many business owners overlook mobile devices when writing their security policy leaving them frustrated when problems arise.
  6. Always make sure all your staff protect their phones with strong passwords. If a mobile phone is lost or hacked, this will help keep the information on it secure.
  7. Consider the risks with Bluetooth. Many mobile phones come with Bluetooth switched on by default. This enables people nearby to pick up that phone’s Bluetooth signal and – potentially – connect to it. Turn it off if you don’t use it – or enable the security functions, so strangers can’t connect to it.

Remember that first and foremost to focus on protecting the information, not the device. Although mobile phones can be expensive, the data you have stored on them is probably worth much more. Take a step back and look at where your information is being stored (a risk assessment can help), then focus your protection on those areas.

If you would like to know more about any of the above or you would like some free expert advise on how to protect your business mobile phones, please  give us a call on 0800 50 533 53 or complete a simply enquiry form here and we’ll get back to you. Alternatively why not visit our Business Mobile Phones product page for more information.



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