Mobile security best practices are the safety measures and protocols designed to secure mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones against online hazards and cyber breaches.
With the increase in personal and professional usage of mobile devices, individuals and businesses acknowledge the critical nature of mobile security. It is a crucial concern because these devices store and transmit sensitive data, including financial information, confidential business documents, and personal contacts. As these gadgets gradually become more integrated into daily routines, they become appealing to cybercriminals looking for valuable information. Mobile cyber-attacks can range from phishing attacks and malware infections to loss or theft of the device, resulting in the disclosure of personal and sensitive data.
Securing mobile devices has become crucial, especially in environments that lack proper security protocols, especially in public Wi-Fi networks where people can be most vulnerable to attacks. On top of that, mobile devices are prone to be misplaced or snatched away, emphasizing the need for implementing measures to ensure the devices and the data stored on them are well-protected. Cyber-criminals can quickly infiltrate sensitive information, leading to disastrous outcomes such as financial losses, identity theft, and irreparable damage to business reputation.
Organizations that fail to provide sufficient mobile security may suffer the repercussions of regulatory fines and legal penalties for compromising sensitive data. Thus, having reliable mobile device security best practices can save businesses from experiencing financial, personal, and professional damage.
Companies now allow encrypted laptops, Android phones, iPhones, or mobile tablets, so the chances of employees using unsecured networks (such as public Wi-Fi for email access) or being ignorant of security threats in their remote working space is smaller.
Here are some of the best mobile usage practices for the security of companies and individuals.
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Turn User Authentication On
Protecting the company’s mobile devices should be a top priority. With standard settings like a screen lock, password, or PIN requirements, securing the company’s laptops, tablets, and smartphones can make all the difference in protecting valuable information. Employees should be proactive and take steps to safeguard mobile devices.
With the increasing prevalence of biometric security measures such as Face ID and Touch ID on devices, many assume that their mobile security is sufficient. However, while these options make access more accessible, they may not provide added security. Adopting a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication policy is highly recommended for strong mobile device security across all end-users. This will add an extra layer of security and ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data. In short, verifying identity on all devices is crucial to maintain optimal security practices.
Introduce Password Managers
It is better to opt for a password manager, the ultimate safeguard for all your passwords. With the ability to generate strong, complex passwords and store them all in a single location protected by a “master” password, there’s no excuse for using easily guessable phrases. And if businesses want to level up mobile security, pair the password manager with an MFA app for added protection.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi and Use VPN
The temptation to connect mobile devices to public Wi-Fi may seem too good. However, while it may appear safe, it increases the vulnerability to hackers and malware. Utilizing a Virtual Private Network is crucial when connecting to unsecured public networks.
Not only does a VPN provide a layer of online security, but it also safeguards the confidentiality of the information while browsing the internet. All transmitted data is encrypted when connecting to a VPN, creating a secure tunnel for all mobile devices. With a VPN, businesses can confidently browse the web, knowing the information is safe. So the next time, think before connecting to a public Wi-Fi without a VPN and prioritize online security.
Don’t Forget the Backup
It’s essential to have a way to access potentially compromised data in case the mobile device is lost or stolen. Companies can simplify things by selecting a cloud solution that automatically performs backups. Ensure that the data retrieved is as up-to-date as possible by doing it this way. Also, keep in mind that potential attacks can compromise remote backups. Implementing appropriate encryption practices is crucial to eliminate such risks.
Beware of Phishing Scams
An email or instant message containing a malicious link or attachment is the form in which phishing scams come. Attackers typically obtain the data stored on a mobile device by using the malicious contents of an email. It is up to them what happens next. The consequences are numerous, including publishing the data on the dark web, experiencing account takeover attacks, and receiving ransom requests.
Phishing emails typically contain either an offer that seems too good to be true or an urgent request for confidential data or user credentials. The chances of a security breach are pretty high if the unsuspecting user follows the instructions. Approach such messages cautiously and think critically when deciding on the next move.
Remote Lock and Data Wipe
Every business’ Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy should include a strict remote lock and data wipe policy. Under this policy, the company can protect lost data by remotely wiping the device or, at minimum, locking access whenever a mobile device is lost or stolen. The situation becomes complicated because, in a BYOD scenario, the employee uses the device for personal and professional purposes, meaning that granting permission to delete business data also implies consent to delete personal data.
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Block Untrustworthy Mobile Apps
The advice for common mobile security best practices is to only download mobile apps from the official app marketplaces, such as Google Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS. Companies can choose apps they consider untrustworthy using enterprise mobility management solutions. By blocking mobile applications that contain known flaws and are a potential threat to the organization, the company is eliminating the possibility of an attack in this way.
Due to the growth of remote work, the best practices for securing mobile devices have been a hot topic. Businesses incorporated mobile devices into their day-to-day operations as WFH became more prevalent. IT administrators need to implement mobile device security best practices for businesses, as employees mainly access the company network remotely using their mobile devices.
Mobile security is vital to protecting sensitive and personal data stored on mobile devices. By executing mobile security best practices, businesses can eliminate the possibility of cyber-attacks and protect themselves from the possibly devastating concerns of data breaches.
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