What is mobile data security? If current trends are any indication, it could simply be another term for 'data security.' Now, many businesses supply employees with laptops, smartphones, and even tablets. All of those devices can and do leave the building (as well as the security measures your business has in place). If your business allows for employees to use mobile devices in a work-capacity, it's time to pay more attention to mobile data security and consider policies that protect sensitive data no matter where those devices are.
Even the phrase 'on the clock' is due for a refresh. Work today is more flexible and has less boundaries. Instead of punching a clock, many employees work around it, answering email in the evening and getting their tasks done on their terms. That can be a good thing! But, it can also present a serious security risk. One way to help ensure that your data stays safe is promoting security best practices as something that should be adhered to whether someone is at work or not. Teaching employees to be wary of phishing scams, for example, is something that can be applied at all times. When you equip your employees with security awareness training, they're more likely to act in ways that protect company data. That includes things like setting strong passwords for devices, keeping anti-virus software up to date, and avoiding unsafe scenarios (like using public Wi-Fi to access sensitive data).
Set Clear Policies and Communicate Them
Make sure that you have a mobile data security policy that you can communicate across your company. Make clear that certain behaviors will and won't be allowed on company devices. While some policies might be hard to enforce (it's impossible to monitor a device entirely), it's better to have something in place so that each employee knows what the expectations are. For example, make it mandatory that the phone will lock after a certain number of failed password attempts. Or, make software updates a routine part of each day, so that important security patches aren't missed. While it's going to be hard to enforce, encourage employees to use their work devices for work and their personal devices for personal matters. Sure, someone may log into Facebook on a work device occasionally, but it's a smart idea to communicate that the expectation is that work devices need to be used with more consideration.
Consider a Remote 'Wipe' Function
What if a device is misplaced, stolen, or an employee quits without notice? How can you make sure that your company data is protected from prying eyes? Consider a remote 'wipe' function. The company should make arrangements ahead of issuing the device that gives it the ability to wipe data from the device, if need be. In the rare event that something happens to the device and it has potentially fallen into the wrong hands, you can wipe the data clean and make sure that it stays private. Mobile devices, even if they are a security challenge, are incredibly powerful. Work with that power to boost your security measures and take advantage of the tools at your disposal. Talk to a trusted IT partner for more advice on what you can do to build in security features into work devices.
Everything is now mobile. Your data security policy needs to reflect that. Use the above information to help you form a plan that will keep your sensitive data safe.