Gone are the days where employees are often seen hunched on their desk doing whatever they are asked to do. Now, employees can work anywhere, and they can use other devices to do the job. This trend has brought new opportunities for employment and in the workplace.
However, some of these changes can impose a threat to the security of the company. With the use of employees’ own devices or mobile phones, hackers have a greater chance to hack into the system, allowing them to gather important data of the company.
The practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or mobile phone to do work is convenient but with a price to pay. Therefore, employers must impose strict rules on the use of these devices.
Before knowing what rules companies can implement, here are some threats seen in mobile phones or any other devices that could affect the company.
Threats in Mobile and Other Devices
• Unsecured WI-FI Connection
The problem with using mobile phones and other devices is the ability to connect to any WI-FI connection in public places. These connections are unsecured, and any hackers can enter this connection to gain access to a device.
Therefore, it is advisable to use a secure connection and never to access critical data like email or financial accounts when using public WI-FI.
• Malware in Mobile Phones
Malware is not only prevalent in PCs. It is also seen in mobile phones. Often smartphones are the target of hackers to inject malware as users are not observant or even protective of their data in the mobile.
These malicious software programs on mobile phones are often hidden on apps downloaded by users. Once the app is downloaded, hackers can quickly gain access to the user’s private information.
Users must be observant when clicking on links to download apps.
• WI-FI Spoofing
WI-FI spoofing is when hackers try to make a bait WI-FI connection for people to fall into. Hackers will ask users to create an account or log in to enter the portal. However, these are only baits for users to give away their email and password. If users use the same password as to their work email, there is a higher chance that even the company they work with might be compromised.
• Outdated Apps
Apps that are not recently updated might impose a risk for the data breach. Hackers can gain access to this app when users don’t update the app. Fixing bugs of the app and avoidingthe entry of hackers is the primary reason why developers provide constant updates.
• Data Leakage
One threat when using smartphones or other devices by employees is the unexpected loss of it. Once the device is missing and their account is currently logged into their company’s site, this could give the theft chances of stealing valuable information or financial information.
• Fake Apps
The inability to differentiate a fake app from a real app can harm a device and steal valuable information. Many users cannot distinguishbetween the two. Therefore, many people download fake apps that could damage their equipment or get their data.
With all this usage of different devices to gain access to the company’s system, it only increases the risk of cyber threats. Therefore, businesses must implement policies that will maintain the security and safety of their company.
Protecting the Workforce from BYOD and Mobile Use
Here are ways companies must implement on their employees when BYOD and the use of smartphoneare common in the workplace.
• Secure Network
For companies or businesses, it is necessary to use a strong password for their wireless connection. It’s to avoid any devices outside of the workplace to connect into the company’s WI-FI and gain access to the company’s data.
Aside from including a password to their wireless connection, it is also important to encrypt any information transmitted within the company’s network.
• Allowed Apps
Since some apps are fake, companies must be strict on implementing the download of any apps. They must educate their employees that they are permitted to only download certain apps when using the companies network.
• App Access
Most people who download their apps don’t bother to check what data or information they give access to these apps. Inform employees to check their apps on what information each of their apps can gain access to.
• Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Ask your employees to use a VPN when they are using other networks to access the company’s data. VPN will protect users’ connection and browsing activity.
• Update Apps
Employees must make it a habit to update any apps or software on their devices to ensure complete protection. Since outdated apps or software are prone to threats, it’s essential to implement these updates as soon as it’s available.
• Secure Device
In the case of a lost or stolen device, employees need to secure it with a strong password. Encourage them to include an automatic lock within five minutes, so that access to relevant data is inaccessible.
• Provide Another Network
Employers can also provide another network for their employees to access when it’s not related to their work. This is to avoid the use of the company’s network for personal use.
• Security Software
Advice employees to include security software to protect their devices or detect any incoming threats. They can use free or paid apps like McAfee, Avast, Kaspersky, and more. These security software apps will be helpful for mobile users in case an app is injected with malware.
Aside from implementing ways to secure your company’s data, it is also essential to educate your workers for them to know what they need to do, especially to those who work remotely. Informing your employees will have a higher chance that they will be able to do their work securely.
With the growing number of mobile users and remote workers, the risk of a data breach also increases. Therefore, employers need to implement strict rules for their employees to secure the company’s data. Employees must also adhere to these rules to keep their workplaces safe and their information too.
John Ocampos is an Opera Singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. Ever since, Digital Marketing has always been his forte. He is the Founder of SEO-Guru, and the Managing Director of Tech Hacker. John is also the Strategic SEO and Influencer Marketing Manager of Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.