How to secure your business mobile phones

Unsecured mobile phones can cause significant problems for brand reputation, customer data, and business performance.

Mike Mead

16/03/2021

Is your workforce growing increasingly mobile?

A study by Samsung revealed that around 93% of people use their smartphones for work purposes every day. Many of these devices belong to the team member, but more employers are beginning to issue smart phones as a crucial part of the productivity kit.

Despite common concerns that smartphones may be a drain on productivity or focus, studies have shown that mobile devices in the workplace could be helpful to boosting productivity. Access to the right device ensures that employees can improve communication, collaboration, and flexibility.

The biggest problem for today’s teams is making sure those devices stay secure.

Unsecured mobile phones can cause significant problems for brand reputation, customer data, and business performance.

How to keep devices secure: Investing in security solutions

Today, mobile devices in the workplace are particularly common.

After the pandemic struck in 2020, companies begun to rapidly embrace devices supporting flexible work. Teams needed to be able to access critical tools from wherever they were. Unfortunately, the rapid shift to remote work meant that many companies couldn’t properly plan for mobile security.

Now that the new normal of mobile work is here to stay, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

The most obvious way to secure company phones is to invest in a tool for mobile device management. Solutions for endpoint protection that allow companies to roll new patches out to phones, track inventory, and examine potential threats from a distance are crucial.

With tools that allow IT teams and managers to access employee devices remotely, it’s easier to roll out solutions that will protect and empower workers. Companies can ensure that all of their employees have the latest version of an anti-virus or malware-protection suite installed at all times.

Remote solutions also mean that if an employee ever lost their smartphone, a company could remotely wipe the information that may be stored in that device’s database.

Maintaining Strong Mobile Security

These days, as mobile phones become a more common part of the business landscape, the security solutions available are evolving too. Anti-virus technology for smartphones is common, but there are also solutions on the market for things like mobile VPNs. Companies can ensure their employees are always using secure networks to connect to the business.

Mobile device management solutions come with access to firewall controls, so business leaders can determine which traffic should be always allowed in and out of the business network. There are even machine learning solutions that can monitor the activities of remote workers and recognise trends that lead to security breaches.

With a consistent monitoring solution, businesses can set up automated programs that alert team members and business leaders when a staff member accesses a file that might be dangerous or downloads an app that exists outside of the business whitelist.

Though it’s important for companies to ensure that they’re not imposing on team member privacy with monitoring and security solutions, it’s also essential for businesses to keep teams secure. The right mobile device security strategy can protect team members from dangerous breaches that could put both business and personal data at risk.

Updating Mobile Use Policies

Offering access to the right technology and protection solutions is an important first step in building the right mobile security strategy. However, it’s important to note that employees have a role to play in protecting the company too. Many staff members are often the cause of data breaches and security issues unintentionally.

It’s easy for an employee to download an app onto a business phone without recognising the danger that they’re exposing the team too. Even files sent over Microsoft Teams and email could end up containing dangerous information. Companies making the transition into the new age of mobile work will need to update their acceptable use policy to address the requirements for mobile use.

Today’s business leaders may need to outline which applications are safe to access, and which are not. There may be standards in place for how employees should lock or protect business phones, and it may also be worth setting up multi-factor authentication strategies to reduce the risk of unauthorized access by someone who happens across an employee phone.

Setting guidelines for how employees should and shouldn’t connect to a network, and when they should be permitted to download content is essential. These policies will help to guide your team members towards the acceptable usage of mobile phones for the business. In the meantime, your firewall, MDM, and anti-virus solutions will be available to help your IT team ensure that your employees are complying with your requirements.

Need help making the shift to mobile? Contact Nice Network today for advice on how to protect your mobile workers.