If your company takes data integrity seriously, then mobile security is no afterthought. You may even be reading this on a specially selected, high-security mobile device that your company had you lock with a ten digit number. However, if you are looking to safeguard your data even further, or if your company is just getting into mobile security, you would be surprised at the number of means available today.
There are literally hundreds of methods for beefing up mobile security, but not all of them are in your best interest or meet the company’s standards. Distilling the list down to the most well-trod paths you can take, we present five surprisingly easy and strong methods for safeguarding data via your mobile device. In addition, you may want to find a solution which can consolidate most of these methods for your most vulnerable data.
Viruses and Malware
Yes, smart phones can get viruses. So can Macs, actually, so if you’re putting out cookies for that particularly jolly man, don’t bother: it’s really the Apple marketing team crammed into a plus-sized red suit. The cell phone’s legacy gives users the impression that it has some sort of virus-free magical property. After all, you wouldn’t expect a land line to get hacked, so how could a smart phone? Well, these devices have far more in common with computers than they do with their predecessors. Luckily, there are virus scanning apps for every mobile operating system on the market today.
Some commonly used antivirus applications come straight from the same companies that built the originals for PC. AVG has a well reputed virus scanner application, and they’ve even thrown in a few extra bells and whistles. Malwarebytes, the free anti-malware program for PC, has a mobile version with a bit more focus on virus protection than its big brother. Users can also find security in the App store, with McAfee and Norton taking up a fair share of the apple antivirus market. Some other paid options are mostly coming from mobile-only contenders, like MobiShield. For these companies, the smart phone marketplace is their bread and butter, so while they may not have AVG’s pedigree, they make up for it with specialization. If your company isn’t issuing phones with a stock anti-virus/malware app already downloaded, you may want to consider these options for your employees.
Finding your devices
What if an employee loses their mobile device? It could be their personal phone that they use to work, a corporate issued iPhone, maybe a tablet they take with for presentations. You can have a company-wide policy regarding passwords and use of company property, but that’s not the end of it. What do you do when data is local to a device and unaccounted for?
For Apple product owners, an iCloud account can come in handy. When you log in on your work computer, you can use the “Find My iPhone” feature to track down your device. After you locate it, you can tell the phone to make a sound so that you can hear it. If it has been stolen or is out of range, turn on “Lost Mode” to lock the screen and display a phone number at which you can be reached. Alternatively, you could erase the device remotely.
Lookout Mobile Security is one of several “lost phone” services available for Android. Similar to the iPhone feature, it must be enabled beforehand if the user hopes to find their device. Lookout will take a picture of the user when sign-in attempts are failed several times in a row. Any company with sensitive information, be it text conversations, emails, files, or access links, would benefit immensely from having these features enabled on every single employee’s phone.
Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network allows users to securely access and share data via a private network by way of public or private internet access. This helps prevent other parties from intercepting private business communication or reading your data as it passes through a Wi-Fi router. It may seem like an overprotective measure, like the myth about virus-free phones. But the average phone owner may be in denial that their data is easily accessed by hackers and other third parties when they use the internet.
Even when not on the go, internal communication is under threat. Your company should already be using a VPN for its day-to-day operations at the office. This can be set up along with a local server for use of company file storage and sharing. Some organizations take advantage of cloud storage and VPN services on offer from third parties. Not every organization has the same needs. Indeed, many government offices and departments forbid cloud storage of government data because it is so vulnerable to both data leaks and cybercriminals. These organizations only have internet access on select machines and use a closed network for everything else. It is because of strict regulations and concerns over data security that most government agencies invest not only in VPNs but also in content management solutions and services.
Mobile Content Management
Your business may be more comfortable with the cloud than a steadfast government institution. After all, some cloud storage and web app providers are up to snuff on their security credentials. However, there is nothing wrong with preferring that all of your company’s files and folders sit firmly on your local servers. On-premise solutions are a viable option, and definitely the best decision for very sensitive information, such as customer financial data or health records. Some Enterprise Content Management solutions offer on-premise, cloud hosted, and hybrid setups.
Contentverse is one such solution, with double layered encryption to ensure privacy at every point the file is stored or accessed, user-permissions-based access limits, and controlled access to data for those outside your organization. The Contentverse system is built on a dedication to security, simplicity, and speed, unwilling to compromise in any regard. In addition to decades of regulatory compliance development, the ECM’s features are specifically designed to accommodate any organization affected by privacy regulations and the European Union’s GDPR. For many industries, that’s every organization. The GDPR is just as influential over mobile data compliance decisions, perhaps even moreso than traditionally systematically safeguarded desktop and server-side document policies. Contentverse’s CV Mobile app benefits from the security measures of the flagship solution with the flexibility of a mobile environment.
You have ensured file encryption, secure mobile access to the cloud or local server, safety measures if devices are lost or stolen, and anti-virus/anti-malware protection. What more could you be doing to secure your organization’s documents on handsets and tablets? Well, we haven’t ruled out the human error yet. Employees are notorious for bad password management. Luckily, solutions exist for even this problem.
Password management programs, such as Keepass have been taking care of passwords for desktop users for years. Often these solutions handle PM in one of two ways: either by letting the user create a password for each application and then storing and calling upon those passwords, or by generating hidden, complex passwords for each account while the user just has a single password for the PM client itself. On mobile, the former is taken care of by Google and Apple within their respective operating systems. However the latter program format, arguably more secure when paired with a device password, has to be found in a separate application. Keepass’s mobile offerings give users this option. LastPass and Keeper are also some of the most popular brands in mobile password management. While LastPass is ideal for most personal applications, Keeper works better for small teams in an organization.
Mobile Security should never be overlooked
Every organization with even the smallest amount of sensitive data can and should take basic measures to safeguard their documents. In light of the constant news spotlight on data breeches and major corporate hiccups, user information is more vulnerable than ever. Now is the time to go all in on mobile data protection. Luckily, it tends to be less expensive than the measures to secure your servers and desktop machines. In the case of Contentverse, you can secure all three at once.
A version of this article was published as 5 Surprising Ways to Secure Your Data on Mobile on April 20th, 2018.