Are Smartphones Causing Security Vulnerabilities For Your Business?

With more and more businesses using smartphones and other mobile devices in the workplace, it’s definitely time to start taking security seriously. Small to medium businesses without a dedicated IT department may forget to include these devices in their security procedures – or even allow employees’ own smartphones on the network without consideration of how they could cause a breach.

Here are three reasons why smartphones can cause you security issues:

1. Smartphones are left unlocked
This is an incredibly simple line of defence to implement and not locking your phone gives any Tom, Dick or Harry access to every piece of data stored on your mobile. As a business, if you allow employees to access and download company files onto their portable devices, you are at real risk of having information walk into the wrong hands. Remember, it’s very easy to lose a smartphone.

You can mitigate the risk by making locking down devices part of your BYOD (bring your own device) policy or not allowing staff to download data or sync smartphones to the company network.

2. Smartphones provide easy social media access
If you’re trying to keep workplace information on the down-low, smartphones are not the ideal tool to have in your office. They make it exceptionally easy for sensitive information and rumours to be spread quickly – such as who’s been made redundant and why.

Office PCs tend to have restrictions in place when it comes to what employees can access during working hours but smartphones may not be locked down in a similar manner. The simplest way to reduce the threat of Facebook if you’re going to allow smartphones is to inform staff regularly about what is appropriate social media behaviour and what isn’t.

3. Smartphone apps are outdated
Make sure staff are educated about updating their apps. Smartphone often have vulnerabilities when they are launched and these can be exploited. Updates contain patches which ensure your device and its contents remains secure so make sure they are as up to date as possible.

Smartphones and tablets offer a wealth of benefits for business, but organisations of all shapes and sizes need to consider how they could affect both personal and company security. Remember, the effects of a security breach can be astronomically expensive and many businesses don’t recover.