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11Jan 2016

Top Ways to Ensure SMB Mobile Security

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Millennial employees demand the convenience of sharing information as they collaborate with remote team members. However, the need of sharing data and the increased use of mobile devices at the workplace complicates the jobs of IT security personnel because the shared files become a rapidly moving target. A rogue actor may use social engineering and a mobile device to gain access to the servers on which shared files are stored and walk out with valuable company data. In an ideal world, a modern security solution would filter out most incoming malicious files such as an attempted phishing attack. With proper awareness and training, the percentage of employees that fall victim to an attack that makes it through the SMB can fall to less than 5%.

Small and midsize business organizations face ongoing challenges associated with maximizing the potential of an increasingly mobile workforce without running into mobile device management and security concerns. Lack of advanced security and MDM solutions, inadequate security awareness and the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks targeting the SMB audience is a growing concern for the modern SMB. The following top tips will empower your SMB organization to combat these threats and make the most of your mobility investments:

Devise and Enforce Mobile Security Policies

Security policies often overlook the critical aspects associated with unsecured wireless connections and endpoints such as mobile devices. Companies can prevent tens of thousands of successful attacks every year simply by creating and enforcing a security policy dedicated for superior mobile security. A comprehensive mobile security policy includes the use of strong passwords, VPN and encryption when connecting to the company’s internal network.

Manage Mobile Devices

Since business organizations are rapidly embracing the mobility movement, the number of mobile devices at the workplace overwhelms IT departments and leads to higher security vulnerabilities. The ability to secure employee devices, limit connectivity to corporate network and manage the apps and functionality allowed at the workplace greatly reduces security risks while maximizing productivity.

Employee Training On Mobile Security

With the increase in malware that targets mobile devices, business organizations must train their employees on maintaining security best practices. Lack of security awareness is a leading factor for high-profile security attacks that cost SMBs millions of dollars annually. Regular security training programs and education keeps employees knowledgeable about the latest security threats and best practices to protect sensitive business information stored in their mobile devices.

Manage Third Party Software

Malicious attacks on mobile devices often exploit loopholes in third party software. Companies can prevent these attacks by standardizing rules on the use of third party apps to ensure strong security. MDM technologies allow businesses to whitelist a set of apps necessary for office work and developed by trusted third-party developers.

Create Secure Mobile Gateways

Companies gain control over the content that employees access when they employ a separate gateway with strict rules regarding remote access. This helps prevent a malicious third party from “sniffing” or “snooping” for sensitive data that is being transmitted to remote mobile devices.

Mobile Security Audits and Penetration Testing

Many white hat hackers employed by top security firms possess a wide range of knowledge about the methods that attackers might use to attack vulnerable points such as mobile devices. Routine audits and penetration testing can reveal hidden threats to mobile security.

Network Security

Network security as it relates to mobile devices should cover not only the devices, but also the wireless routers that they connect to. A comprehensive mobile network security plan covers the type and content of the data packets that might reach mobile devices and a security policy can filter out malicious packets before they ever reach the mobile device.

Data Encryption

Companies should not ignore the power of good data encryption when exchanging data with mobile devices. Good encryption avoids making use of a “back door” that malicious actors can use to intercept sensitive data on mobile devices.

With the increased use of employee-owned mobile devices in and out of the workplace, a comprehensive mobile security policy becomes increasingly necessary. Companies should create and enforce their policy before a malicious actor can use mobile devices as an attack vector targeting sensitive company data.

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