With Business Mobility Comes More Security Woes
In today's faced paced world, it is hard to believe that it was not that long ago that we were not always tethered to a hand-held or computer-based device. While they have certainly made a lot of things easier, some would argue that we have opened the genie bottle and will no longer be able to have some of the simple pleasures we use to enjoy.
Personally, I am a techie and love to play with all the new gadgets and toys as they arrive on the market. With all of the excitement, we sometimes miss the warning signs of what to watch out for and how to protect ourselves from those wanting to cause harm.
The following, are the areas I recommend where you prioritize security efforts first:
Mobile Devices are a target just waiting to be attacked. We continue to see the rise in malicious software targeting mobile devices, which has increased by over 150% in less than a year.
Tips to ensure security:
- Make sure you enable all security controls on your device
- Ensure that all devices use a PIN or log on credential
- Be aware of or create a corporate policy on what can and what cannot be downloaded to a mobile device such as apps or other programs
- Remotely disable lost or stolen phones
There are encryption software packages and apps that can be downloaded to mobile devices to protect those items requiring additional security. File encryption protects sensitive data stored on your mobile device and some can erase remotely if the phone is lost or stolen.
VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, is a market segment that is just exploding. While it offers a lot of benefits from a cost perspective for business owners, there are some security concerns to be aware of:
- Attackers can target VoIP to gain access to your calls
- Voice over Misconfigured Internet Telephones (VoMIT) is a software tool that siphons voice TCP/IP packets running on Cisco's phone system, and its proprietary protocol known as skinny
- A product called SipTap has demonstrated the capacity to intercept phone calls
VoIP security is only as good as the company providing the network. Be sure to stress security concerns when speaking with VoIP providers, to ensure eavesdroppers stay out of your phone calls.
Some predict that the laptop market is slowly dying with the advent of tablets and the software to allow them to act as a laptop. Cloud-based storage and access to remote file storage allows these devices to take a back seat in today's market.
However, you still need to ensure that you take precautions with these valuable tools:
- Lock the device and secure it to a desk
- Ensure that your firewall and anti malware scanning software are up to date.
- Use log in credentials and passwords that encompass numbers, letters and special symbols
- Change passwords at least twice a year
- Enable automatic software updates by the manufacturer and malware companies
- Install tracking software in the event it is ever stolen or lost
- Back up your data regularly with a hard drive you purchase or a cloud-based application
- Encryption is a great tool should you want to protect all of your stored data
- Limit the use of USB sticks
- Limit the use of open Wi-Fi
Cloud Based Storage Devices
Cloud based storage has been consistently on the rise and there does not seem to be an end point in sight. Companies are choosing to ship their documents off-site to be managed in "the cloud" where they feel more secure and save money.
The cloud can be useful for storing files, business documents, photos etc. Most are accessed via a web-based application and most carry apps that also work on smart phones. Business owners enjoy the lower cost and accessibility to get to their files anytime and anywhere. There's no maintenance costs to worry about either.
If you choose to go with an ASP solution, be sure to ask potential providers how your data will be stored. Data centers should be checked by third party auditors to ensure the strictest standards in security and compliance are followed.
Advanced technology aimed at improving business productivity is great; just make sure it's not putting your business at risk.