September 28, 2021

Article
6 min

How to Keep Your Mobile Devices Secure

The rise of mobile devices means your network endpoints have multiplied. Here is a guide for your end users on how they can take the necessary steps to protect your data on company devices.

Mobile devices have undoubtedly disrupted the way organizations and employees produce results and stay connected, anytime and anywhere. The usage of mobile devices has substantially taken off over the years, and depending on how these devices are used, unauthorized access to them can become both damaging and difficult to mitigate. It is of upmost importance to take the necessary steps below to protect your data on these devices from the latest  threats

Learn how CDW’s Data Security Solutions can protect your business’s sensitive data and information.

Implement a Company-Owned Mobile Device Policy

When employees use their personal mobile devices to carry out day-to-day tasks from remote work locations, they continuously share and access proprietary information, which is vital to stay productive without work delays. In the process, employees unknowingly store critical data on their mobile devices, which creates data vulnerabilities that can easily be hacked without a company mobile device policy put in place.

Simply put, implementing a company-owned mobile device policy involves providing selected mobile devices, such as a company phone or tablet, to employees that require them to effectively perform their job duties. In this case, you would have complete control over the mobile devices, as well as the capability to manage, monitor, and secure these devices, both in the office and remotely.

A company-owned mobile device policy is a win-win for both you and your employees. You can be assured that sensitive data is secure and the employees will have clear direction on device/data usage. When these devices are owned by the company, your internal IT department can apply necessary usage and security regulations to the mobile devices to protect the corporate data from being lost, stolen, or misused.

Install Antivirus Software on Your Devices

Cyberthreats are always evolving. Even though businesses have developed operating systems and web browsers to effectively stop viruses in their tracks, cybercriminals are coming up with new, sophisticated types of attacks. With threats such as ransomware and spyware, you cannot afford to leave your network and data unsecured.

A robust antivirus software solution should be installed on your mobile devices. Not only does antivirus software detect computer viruses, but it secures your data against different types of unfamiliar threats, like phishing and malware.  Antivirus software programs create an extra layer of security and protection, so that even if malware gets access to your computer, you have something preventive in place to detect and remove it before it disrupts your entire network.

Read: How to protect your infrastructure with CDW’s Amplified Security Services

Lock Your Devices with a Password or Passcode

Nowadays, device security has become quite important. The need for security on mobile devices is no different than the security needed for computer networks. The days no longer exist to where the only information that was stored on a smartphone was just names and phone numbers within your contacts list. Mobile devices have changed drastically over the years and now have the capability and bandwidth to access company emails, hold full-fledged, virtual conferences through a video conferencing apps, or  store passwords or large amounts of sensitive data.

Physical security has become a huge element of mobile device security. Carelessness is one of the biggest security risks when it comes to any device. When employees leave their desk or workspace area to attend a meeting, take a lunch break or for some office chit-chat, they tend to leave their devices unlocked or passcode-free. When an unlocked device is left unattended, you are giving anyone and everyone full unauthorized access to your confidential information.

Cybercriminals can easily access a device if there isn’t an additional layer of security present, such as a password or passcode protection. Locking up a device with a password or passcode ahead of time when it’s first received is crucial, so that if it becomes lost or stolen, it will be locked, making it difficult for hackers to gain unauthorized access to it. Additionally, do not share your password or passcode with anyone. Typically, if a device requires a password or passcode in order to unlock it, cybercriminals will not bother with it and simply move on.  

Back Up Your Device Data on a Regular Basis

Have you ever been in a situation where you lost a lot of important data? Or have you ever experienced a moment of panic if you thought you did? Whether it’s family vacation photos or a report from work, you probably do understand how that data is too valuable to lose. Which is why it is important and crucial to have a data backup in place on your devices. A data backup is an archive or copy of the important information that is stored on devices, such as a phone, tablet, or computer, and used to restore that original information both quickly and seamlessly in the event of data loss. Data losses can happen in many forms, such as hard drive failures, ransomware attacks, or even human error. Backing up your device data on a regular basis is especially helpful if your device ends up being lost, stolen or misused.

Other important data on your devices, such as computer databases and customer files, should also be backed up on a regular basis and can be managed by your IT department. Device data can also be backed up on a removable USB flash drive, an external hard drive, or on a cloud-based storage platform.

Log Out of All Your Devices

Simply closing out your browsers to stay logged into your favorite apps or services makes sense most of the time – you don’t want to have to enter your password every single time you log into your desktop computer or check your email account. It makes everyday life a little more convenient to just simply close out of your browser and access the same page later. When the browser is closed, most websites will remember you being logged into that account on that browser. The browser also remembers your username and password and tells the site when you go back to it that it was logged in. But on a business device, closing out your browser allows anyone with access to your computer, phone, or tablet to open back up the browser and have instant access to your accounts without having to enter in a username or password.

Always log out of each website or account on your device after using them and when you leave. Get into a regular habit of doing this. It is especially good practice if you are using a public or shared computer — anyone could maliciously steal or destroy your information simply because you didn’t log out. It would also be beneficial to take it a few steps further and delete your history  or use browsers in incognito mode. This ensures that your history isn’t saved on the browser. If you use the browser in private mode, it will log you out once you close the browser.

Summary

No organization wants to ever imagine a scenario where sensitive information from their devices become susceptible to being hacked, stolen, or malware installed. But unfortunately, it happens daily, and we can’t deny the fact that no one is immune to it. We hope that you use these crucial steps as a guide to help keep your company’s devices secure.