As technology has become more integrated into our lives, devices like smartphones have become essential for a lot of businesses. This innovative and useful tech allows your team to work cohesively, stay connected and store company data.
But it also brings problems.
Many companies issue team members with specific work-designated mobile phones - and sadly, with them comes data breaches and cybersecurity threats. Don’t issue a company phone? You need to read this too because personal mobiles used for work pose even more of a risk.
Of all the major security risks that businesses can face right now, mobile phones are one of the biggest and most overlooked.
Staying safe with your business mobiles and knowing how to keep your data, clients and team protected is the best policy.
Why Are Mobiles Such A Security Risk?
When surveyed, 2 in 5 IT professionals have admitted that businesses struggle to keep up with the potential attacks on mobile phones.
Mobile phones are a necessity for most businesses now, for remote workers or just for your team to stay connected on the go. That means your company mobiles and everything on them is at constant risk of cyber attacks, phishing scams, hackers and data breaches.
Many businesses are not treating their company mobiles as vulnerable devices, making them more susceptible to attacks. Most mobiles do not have adequate virus protection or even basic security measures, so it’s easy to see why hackers would target business mobiles.
What's At Stake?
The consequences of not tightening your mobile security can be surprising. Smartphones and even more basic mobile phones are at risk right now. Without stepping up security, you could face serious problems, including:
Viruses - Viruses range in severity, but in the worst-case scenario, they can stop your team from being able to use their device. There’s a high chance your business will lose vital files, photos, records or even access to your online systems.
Data loss - If your mobile devices are attacked, you could lose photos, videos, call logs, login details, and any client data stored on the device. Most people keep important information on their phone without backing it up anywhere else, so if your team is also doing this on their work phones they could be at risk of losing crucial data.
Complete system shutdown - If your cybersecurity is breached and your client’s data or ongoing work is put in danger, then your business will grind to a complete stop. Companies in this position can often take months or years to recover and begin trading normally again, so don’t let a mobile phone be the downfall of your business.
Stolen money - If your team make purchases (even for apps in app stores) using their work mobile, then money could be stolen from the associated bank account. This is particularly easy if a phone doesn’t use a basic lock screen or password prompts for payments.
Stolen data - Not being able to access data is bad enough, but having data stolen can put your company, your employees and your clients in jeopardy. Not to mention the HUGE fines that can be levied by the ICO for breach of GDPR…
Ransomed data - Sometimes hackers don’t want your data, they just want money. Mobile phones can be subject to ransomware, where data is encrypted and locked away until the user pays a ransom fee to unlock it.
What Can You Do About It?
So how can you stay safe from these situations?
Implement cybersecurity basics as an absolute minimum, creating a system of security protection across all devices within your business. Ideally, you should consult with an IT security expert to advise you on the types of virus scanners and VPNs (virtual private networks) that will be best suited to your business mobiles.
You can also ensure staff are trained properly, alerting them to mobile security risks and what to look out for. Along with this training, it’s important to make your team aware of your recovery and backup process - in case of data loss.
Use 2-factor authentication on all mobile devices when your team are accessing online systems or databases. This involves a code being sent to the device to verify the identity of the person attempting to log into a particular account.
The fastest and easiest step you can take to protect the mobiles in your company is to implement basic password protection through an initial lock screen, making it more difficult for hackers or thieves to unlock and access a mobile if it was lost or stolen.
Mobile phone security is one of those things that we often don’t think about until it’s too late.
Once a virus has got onto your mobile device and your data is stolen or ransomed, that’s when you’ll wish you’d been prepared. This is something that businesses need to become more aware of as smartphones are becoming increasingly common workplace devices.
If you need some help finding the cybersecurity holes in your day to day activities at work, then speak to us to find out what to look out for and what you can do to protect your business.