Mobile devices are increasingly important for businesses and their employees. Workers use tablets and smartphones to work, in and out of the office, and to communicate with customers. But, while desktop computers have long been the focus of hackers and other types of security breaches, research indicates that mobile devices are becoming the prime targets of attacks. A number of new tools as well as security techniques are useful for protecting the devices in your company’s network.
Firewalls have been around for a while, but they are far from obsolete in cybersecurity. A firewall is an essential security tool that all businesses should have in place. Their role is to block access to unauthorized users.
It’s true that hackers have become sophisticated in their approaches to infiltrate networks, and that firewalls are far from perfect. However, this is a basic security tool that serves as a foundation of protection. It can still block the vast majority of attempts at unauthorized access to a network.
Another basic feature of cybersecurity is antivirus software. Like firewalls, this kind of software has been around for some time and makes up just one component of a complete security system for computers and devices attached to a business network.
Make sure all devices are covered by antivirus software that provides alerts when malware and virus infections are threatening a tablet or mobile phone. A good software program will also scan emails for questionable attachments that may contain infections. You’ll find a variety of service levels with antivirus software, so you can easily scale your software to your business. Just be sure that any software you use stays updated.
Endpoint Detection and Response
Incident response tools can help protect the endpoints in your business, including the mobile devices connected to your network. Endpoint detection and response, or EDR, is a technology tool that continuously scans data from devices looking for potential threats. It protects devices from hacking and theft of data. If the EDR finds some type of threat, the device user gets immediate notification with a list of actionable steps to take.
EDR software is a valuable security tool for businesses for several reasons:
- It monitors continuously for potential threats, so devices are always covered.
- It blocks threats at the endpoints (mobile devices) where most attacks begin.
- It collects and stores information so it can be analyzed later, even when devices are offline.
- Unlike traditional antivirus software, EDR covers all types of threats.
- You get a real-time response so you can take action against threats.
Too often overlooked, staff training on keeping devices secure is critical. It’s a mistake to assume that everyone understands security threats and how to minimize them. You can provide employee devices with great software to protect them, but if they don’t know the threats or safe practices, security is limited.
Some examples of where employees may fall short include:
- Failing to install software updates in a timely fashion
- Installing apps that grant too many permissions, such as reading files and accessing cameras and microphones
- Using automatic unlocking features
- Leaving online sites and services unlocked with auto-logins
- Using open wireless networks
- Being careless with devices, risking loss or theft
Remote Protection and Anti-Theft Tools
Hacking and other types of cyberattacks are still more common in PCs. They are of increasing concern with mobile devices, but good old-fashioned theft remains a big security threat for phones. Smartphone loss and theft present a serious concern for businesses whose employees use devices for work.
There are ways to protect against this kind of threat, including remote access tools and anti-theft technology. Most smartphones have the latter built-in, but you can also add apps that offer more protection. For instance, a remote access app allows you to control a device from afar, in the event you lose it or it has been stolen. The best of these apps take into account things like hiding the message notifications and letting you authorize only specific devices that can access the missing phone.
Secure Your Network
The security of mobile devices is becoming increasingly important, both as companies rely on them more for doing business and thieves and hackers get more sophisticated. The focus is still heavily on PCs, but devices are increasingly the targets of attacks. To protect the endpoints in your business network, make sure to use these five tools and strategies with employee phones and tablets. Together, they will protect your security.