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23 September 2019

Are mobile devices putting your business at risk?

Forward Thinking Business Blog –

Research carried out last year found that people now spend more time on mobile devices than on desktop or laptop computers. Most of us today use smartphones to access email and various apps and services containing work related contacts and data. The benefits are obvious: these devices give us convenient 24/7 access to information we need regardless of whether we are in the office, working from home or travelling. However, they also present IT risks that need to be managed.

FPM sees many instances where businesses have excellent security for their main systems but little or no security to cover employees’ use of personal mobile devices. This is worrying because businesses may have legal obligations in respect of data held on these smartphones, tablets and other devices.

Business owners need to do more to protect mobile devices, says Feargal McCormack.

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So what should you do to protect mobile devices?

The first step in protecting your business is to make sure that your staff understand the dangers of losing personal or work-related mobile devices that contain confidential information.

If a device is lost or stolen, it is vital that employees inform you so that you can take any necessary steps to deal with the potential loss of data. This includes both work and personal devices which have been used to access work email or other data. Remember that as well as smartphones, employees may use personal tablets or laptops to occasionally access work email or other information from home.

Also, keep in mind that hackers typically want high level access to your systems so everyone from the CEO down needs to alert to the risks. There should be no one in your business who thinks your policy on mobile devices doesn’t apply to them!

It makes sense to review your security procedures including checking whether you need to introduce a clause in your staff handbook and/or employee contracts giving you permission to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices.

Other simple measures to improve security on your mobile devices include:

  • Use passcodes
  • Use complex passwords and update them regularly
  • Enable encryption
  • Restrict app downloads
  • Enable the ability to remotely wipe a lost or stolen device
  • Retrieve and wipe old devices before securely disposing of them.

Finally, your business is only ever as secure as the least secure device with access to your systems and data. Policies and procedures are great on paper but they only protect you if they are properly designed, implemented, monitored and updated. Remember, the weakest point is often human.

FPM runs regular security seminars where we share best practice tips and advice on IT related topics. If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to receive an invite to the next event…

Contact Feargal

Feargal McCormack / Managing Director

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