Smart phones have brought both the world and the office to the palm and pocket, enabling increased productivity for the workforce on the move. However, this new-found freedom has exposed a mountain of previously secure company information to the threat of theft and destruction at the hands of cyber criminals.
A recent Forrester study, The State of SMB IT Security and Emerging Trends 2009 to 2010, found that 40 percent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) consider smart phone usage a major security concern.
It is therefore important for SMEs to protect themselves by educating their employees (the phone users) with what potential threats are out there, and how to avoid them.
The following tips can help ensure business information safekeeping:
- Pay primary attention to securing information over focusing on the devices. Look at where information is first being stored and safeguard those areas.
- Enable data encryption on the devices being used.
- Treat mobile devices like company computers and make sure that the security software is always up-to-date.
- Develop, establish and enforce strict security policies, such as using ‘strong’ passwords.
- Closely manage Bluetooth connections. By default, most phones have Bluetooth enabled. Make sure that this function is turned off or securely paired with other devices.