Most Americans (77%) now own a smartphone, up from just 35% in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Additionally, about half of American adults own tablet computers. As mobile device ownership has become the norm, smartphones and tablets have made their way into the workplace.
The practice of using personal mobile devices at the office to access company data presents a new set of cybersecurity risks. Your IT infrastructure isn’t truly safeguarded against IT security threats unless you’ve accounted for and taken steps to protect mobile devices and other endpoints.
That’s why the 11th step in our process for ensuring your IT infrastructure is secure involves protecting mobile devices and other endpoints from malicious parties and software looking to gain unauthorized access to your company’s network. Before we explore this topic, however, here are the previous steps, in case you want to review them:
1. Performing a security audit
2. Creating and enforcing IT security policies
3. Updating your anti-virus solution
4. Updating workstations and servers
5. Guarding your email with a hosted spam solution
6. Implementing a hosted DNS solution
8. Implementing a backup solution
Mobility and Vulnerability
Many businesses have embraced the growing popularity of mobile devices by adopting “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, which allow employees to bring in their own smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets and use them to complete projects. Although a BYOD plan could lower your organization’s technology costs since workers supply some of their own tech tools, allowing personal devices in the office creates a bunch of new points of vulnerability where security is concerned.
Here are some questions and scenarios you’ll want to consider regarding mobile devices and security risks:
1. What happens if a device that has sensitive corporate data on it gets lost?
2. What if an employee leaves the company and takes their personal devices (still containing company data) with them?
3. What if an employee uses their mobile device to access a non-secure/non-corporate network? This could happen, for example, if they use public WiFi to access the Internet while at a coffee shop. People looking to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data could do so through the unsecured network.
Mobile and Endpoint Security Solutions
To reduce your risk of potentially disastrous data breaches, it’s important to implement comprehensive security policies and educate your employees on best practices to keep their smartphones and other devices as safe as possible from cyber criminals. For example, everyone should implement a password/passcode lock for their devices. There are also apps and features available that can let users remotely wipe their devices.
Additionally, your business can add an extra layer of protection with endpoint security solutions. There are a number of next-generation endpoint protection products available, including the following:
- A security platform that allows your business to prevent, hunt, detect, and respond to endpoint security threats
- A platform that records all critical endpoint activity and centralizes it to give security teams a look at the complete picture
- An SaaS endpoint detection and response platform that leverages the power of cloud computing to enhance your company’s ability to identify and take care of security threats without adding infrastructure
These are just some of the endpoint security solutions available for businesses looking to ensure endpoint security. If you’d like to learn more about mobile/endpoint security, our expert team can answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact us by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And be sure to check back next week to learn about the 12th and final step in the Stratosphere Networks process for making sure your IT infrastructure is secure.