How do you feel about the security of your mobile device while working remotely? Does that thought even cross your mind? If it doesn’t, you’re not alone, but if you have concerns, you’re in good company, too.
A recent study found that only one-third of business workers use mobile device security software, and 28% rely solely on passwords to protect their devices from unauthorized use.
Smartphone Aesthetics and Accessibility Options
First, let’s define what we mean by mobile devices. In this case, we’re referring to smartphones and tablets, in addition to wearable technology like smartwatches or Google Glass. In an increasingly connected world, these devices have access to an incredible amount of information—and as such, they have become highly desirable targets for hackers, thieves, and other criminals.
Whether you work at home or in an office, you’ve probably become accustomed to checking your email and browsing the web while on the go. You may even do some remote work from your mobile device regularly. While this can be convenient and make you more productive, it’s important to remember that mobile devices can often be easier to access and break into than computers are.
The good news? You can easily improve your mobile device security and decrease your chances of falling victim to a data breach or cyber attack. Here are some helpful tips on keeping your devices secure no matter where you are!
Last year, a survey by McAfee revealed that 50% of people working remotely (road warriors) do not password-protect their devices. Unfortunately, this means hackers could easily access sensitive information on your phone or laptop when you’re away from your desk.
It also means that a family member or co-worker can snoop on personal emails, bank details, and so forth. So be sure to lock down all mobile devices with passwords, biometrics like fingerprint ID, or other measures.
That way, if anyone picks up your device while you’re at lunch, they won’t be able to get in without your passcode—or face recognition. Even better: encrypt all mobile data so even if someone does get into it using those methods mentioned above, they still won’t be able to see anything useful! With encryption enabled, hackers will only see gibberish should they try to break in remotely.
To understand mobile device security, it’s first important to understand a threat. Simply put, a threat refers to something that might cause harm or risk. Threats come in many forms – people can be threats, as can software bugs and hackers.
When we talk about mobile device security, we’re most concerned with malicious software – malicious software causes problems in your device, while malware refers to any type of malicious code designed to infect your mobile device.
Malware comes in several different types; viruses, trojans, worms, etc., all carry different risks for you and your devices. So what does that mean for mobile device security? First, it means that you should always download apps from trusted developers (like Google Play) and pay attention to permissions requested by an app before downloading it.
This will keep your device safe from damage. If you think you’ve been infected with malware on your mobile device, don’t just delete whatever seems bad – instead, take steps to remove it completely using anti-malware software.
Can Companies Prevent Insider Threats?
You’ve probably heard of insider threats; however, most companies can still find themselves unprepared to handle such events. Insider threats are categorized into malicious insiders, negligent insiders, and authorized users.
Malicious insiders are malicious when they break security policy or circumvent controls to steal data or money.
Negligent insiders make honest mistakes, leading to unplanned exposures that could cause significant damage if they aren’t corrected quickly.
Finally, authorized users are employees who have been provided permission to use company devices and resources but may not be fully trained on security policies or procedures.
These users pose a unique risk because they know how things work within your organization—but may not recognize the potential consequences of their actions, even if everything they do is above board.
Benefits of Mobile Device Security.
Below are some of the benefits of Mobile device Security:
- Regulatory compliance
- Security policy enforcement
- Application control
- Automated device registration
- Data backup
- Remote control of device updates
In summary, mobile device security protects a company from malicious or unknown outsiders from gaining access to sensitive company data.
Are There Any Benefits to Being Compromised Remotely?
One big benefit to being compromised remotely, rather than having a device physically stolen or lost, is that you can take action sooner. There’s no need to wait for law enforcement officials to recover your device.
You may be able to get it back yourself—remotely. Most mobile devices are outfitted with anti-theft software that allows owners to track their phones using GPS systems and remote control features such as locks and wipes.
While these tools aren’t foolproof, they give users additional control over their security. And since most criminals won’t know how to use these tools when they find your phone, there’s an even better chance of getting it back.
If you don’t want someone hacking into your personal information if they discover your device, keep sensitive data off of it: Your bank account numbers, for example. That way, there will be nothing on which to base extortion attempts in case of theft.
Who are the Most Common Attackers Today?
Some of these attackers are just looking to cause a little mayhem. They’re called script kiddies—they aren’t cyber-professionals, but they know enough about coding to take advantage of simple security vulnerabilities, such as weak passwords or unpatched software.
While these attacks are annoying and certainly disrupt your life, they probably won’t be too disruptive for your company, so long as you follow some basic security best practices. However, it should go without saying that serious consequences can result if a hacker successfully gains access to highly sensitive data or network systems.
Several recent attacks on major corporations have cost billions in damage: JP Morgan lost $2 billion, Target was forced to pay out $40 million, and Home Depot laid out more than $50 million because of an attack on their systems. And those are just examples from 2014!
According to reports, by 2022, there will be around one billion smartphone users (the world population is currently 7.8 billion). That’s a lot of smartphones! Thankfully, there are plenty of free mobile security apps that can help keep your data safe from prying eyes – so get downloading! We’ll continue to provide more in-depth security tips for remote workers as we learn about them. Stay tuned!