How to Secure Your Mobile

We use mobile devices constantly these days – both privately and for business. But every time someone connects a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to your company’s network, the risk of a security breach increases.

  • One in five organizations has suffered a mobile security breach, primarily driven by malware and malicious Wi-Fi.[1]
  • Some 39 percent confirm that devices allowed to access corporate data have downloaded malware at some point in the past.[2]
  • Another 53 percent have at least one device that is noncompliant with their security policies.[3]

An overwhelming majority of IT professionals (70 percent) see smartphones as a moderate to high risk for security violations, according to a recent study[4]. The reason for this is simple: Mobile devices can’t be monitored as effectively as desktop computers, since many are used for both private and business purposes.

With so-called “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, companies allow employees to bring their personal mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones to work and use them to access internal information and applications.

Compared to COPE (corporate-owned but personally enabled) and COBO (corporate-owned and business-only) devices, BYOD is by far the most widespread constellation, with 81 percent of companies already supporting the policy or planning to implement it within the next 12 months.

Lack of control
If a company doesn’t own a mobile device, however, it cannot monitor the device continuously. Employees don’t want to be watched on a Saturday afternoon while they’re browsing for private interests or paying bills online, so security through surveillance is out of the question.

Another major risk with BYOD is the abundance of input methods that exist for mobile devices. A desktop computer can be accessed via keyboard, USB interfaces, and the company network. The firm’s IT department can restrict or monitor USB inputs when they connect, presume that the keyboard is safe and scan the network for intrusions and malware: job done. Mobile devices, however, have many more entry points: There’s Bluetooth, IR, and NFC. Then there’s Wi-Fi and the cellular network. Chipsets even contain radios. To account for all of these possibilities, companies need customized approaches to securing their mobile devices.

Enterprise Mobility Management to the rescue
The first step towards protecting mobile devices against hacking is to implement a comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) strategy. This allows you to control which mobile devices can connect to your company network. For example, service providers or temporary employees can be given only very limited access.

To address the significant risk of data retention, EMM solutions make the containerization of sensitive information possible. This means that a mobile device containing company data is configured to keep this data completely separated from personal data. The solution also reinforces the employee’s own data privacy.

Another way to boost mobile security is to implement technical measures in connection with location services. If a mobile device gets lost or stolen, you can either find out where it is or wipe it clean of all company data.

The human factor
Sometimes, cyber criminals are not what IT departments worry about most when it comes to mobile security. As a survey found out, 69 percent of IT professionals name limited end-user knowledge as their top security challenge, and 57 percent even mention outright resistance.[5] This is why employers have to raise awareness and understanding for security measures. Simple things like always using a password, not connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, not clicking on dubious links, and avoiding the use of untrustworthy apps all increase mobile security significantly.

Guidelines for keeping mobile devices secure:
Keep your system up-to-date:
Outdated and unsupported software versions unnecessarily expose devices to known vulnerabilities.
Backups: If smartphones are lost or stolen, you can delete all of their data without losing it permanently.
Establish an EMM policy: Define what employees are allowed to do regarding data storage, app usage, etc.
Encrypt your device: When you add a layer of security to protect your information, you make it all the more difficult for hackers to access it.
Endpoint security: Endpoint security management systems such as Zimperium discover, manage, and control computing devices that request access to the corporate network.

 

[1] BYOD and mobile security report by Crowd Research Partners
[2] Report: How forward-looking industries secure BYOD by bitglass
[3] Q4 Mobile Security and Risk Review, October 1 – December 31, 2015, by MobileIron
[4] Study: Battling the Big Hack: Inside the ring and out… IT pros plan to land some blows in 2016 by Spiceworks Voice of IT®
[5] Study: Battling the Big Hack: Inside the ring and out… IT pros plan to land some blows in 2016 by Spiceworks Voice of IT®

2 Comments to “How to Secure Your Mobile” Write a comment

ababei ramona says:

July 5, 2016 at 9:13 am

I w ant know the easy methods and way to protect my phone

Editorial Team says:

July 6, 2016 at 11:41 am

Dear Ms. Ababei, thank you for your interest in our company and our products. We are happy to inform you about our offers. Please note that our offers are solely for business customers. So please let us know if we should forward your contact details to one of our B2B sales colleagues from Romania and he will take care of your request. If your request focuses on end consumer offers, please visit https://www.telekom.ro/contact/ for support. Your Deutsche Telekom B2B Europe Team

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