7 Mobile Data Security Tips

A Game Plan For The Enterprise

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Steven Lerner

mobile data security

Mobile devices represent one of the biggest security risks. Hackers could easily breach these devices and extract precious enterprise data.

Here are seven mobile data security tips that every enterprise should follow.

1. Mobile Device Management Is Not Enough

Although mobile device management (MDM) is a practical solution to handle the administration of mobile devices, it is not the most sufficient means of protecting data. Many enterprises realize this potential vulnerability, and are mitigating risk by leveraging other solutions. One alternative includes data loss protection software that has the capabilities to control which data users are able to access, require passwords for certain types of data, and prohibit some files from being downloaded. Another popular option includes unified endpoint management (UEM), which allows mobile administrators to block downloads and limit access to certain files.

2. Regularly Backup Data

Mobile devices have a target on their backs. Between phishing attacks and ransomware, an enterprise’s most sensitive data is at risk and can be compromised at any time. Malware is a big threat, with tool-based apps representing the biggest threats. Permanent loss of enterprise data could be devastating. To ensure that data is not permanently gone, it is recommended that organizations backup sensitive data. Furthermore, this should be done on a regular basis, because it could occur at any time. Some organizations are already relying on backup services that handle this process. When a data backup occurs, an enterprise is able to restore data quicker.

3. Have Defined Use-Case Requirements

Even if most of your critical enterprise data and files are available on the network, that doesn’t mean that all of your users need to have access to everything. Instead, enterprises should define a use-case requirement, which assigns workers access to specific apps and data based on their department and title. This also prevents these users from accessing unauthorized data that is not pertinent to their role. An example is limiting a customer relationship management (CRM) platform only to sales workers, or limiting a content management system only to marketing team members. Fewer entries to data limit potential breaches.

4. Restrict Access Only To Devices With A Secure OS

As bring your own device (BYOD) gains wider adoption across the enterprise, a plethora of different devise and operating systems will enter the network. Each operating system will maintain different levels of security. Often at times, the latest version of iOS and Android will have stronger security protocols than older versions. For the sake of enhancing mobile data security, enterprises should restrict access on devices. Only recently updated operating systems with better security standards should get access.

5. Leverage Antivirus

Sometimes, the most basic strategies can be a big part of improving mobile device security. Antivirus software provides another layer of protection against potential threats. Enterprises should try to leverage an antivirus solution, and update it on a consistent basis in order to protect data.

6. Conduct Periodic Security Audits

Mobile data security is not a “set it and forget” strategy. In order for your strategy to work, IT must conduct periodic security audits. This includes a full technical audit of the solutions, network, apps, and devices. It should also include a thorough review that ensures that workers are adhering to mobile policies. During the audit, it is important to make sure that all of the security protocols are still in place.

7. Increase Awareness

Finally, a robust mobile data security policy begins and ends with the users. Whether an enterprise follows a BYOD policy or a COPE policy (or a hybrid model), it is critical to communicate the importance of security best practices to employees. In order to embrace a culture of security, employees should have to sign a mobile security policy. There should also be security training that occurs during the on-boarding process and every few months. On average, half of all employees only receive training once per year.