Business people are increasingly mobile today. In part because that’s the way their professions seem to be headed. But also because the technology has just made it so easy to do your work wherever you are. But unfortunately, this creates new security risks. When you’re taking your technology with you outside of the office, you’re typically taking your data with you as well. And we need to make sure that we’re protecting that data even when we’re outside the four walls of our office.
So the obvious area of concern here would be mobile devices like iPads and iPhones. I would say as a basic level of security, you should make sure that on any mobile device, like a tablet or a phone, you should be using a password. So you should need to enter a password before you can access the device. You should have remote wiping enabled so that if the device becomes lost you have the ability to wipe the data off of it so that whoever finds it doesn’t have access to that data. Now at a lot of companies and firms, these are actually the basic requirements that they make you sign off on before you have access to their network through a mobile device. You should be following them whether or not that’s the policy because it’s just a good security practice.
If your device, by default, just wants a passcode, a four digit passcode, or something like that, look for something more secure, a real password. It’s usually an option that you can enable within your settings. Also be a little bit careful about the security methods, or the unlock methods that involve swiping your finger around the screen. We’ve all noticed that when we use these mobile devices, we leave lots of fingerprints all over them, and there have been security studies that show people use the gesture passwords, it’s not terribly difficult to discern what those passwords are by the well worn fingerprints that people have left on the screens. So consider a password or a longer passcode instead of a swipe or short pincode.
Also with remote wiping, make sure that you actually know how to do the wiping before you lose the device. This is something that people run into where they’ve lost their smartphone and they realize that they need to wipe the data, but then they’re suddenly trying to figure out, how do I actually do that. Especially where you’re in an environment where you don’t just have an IT department that you can call and say “I lost my smartphone, it needs to be wiped.” You need to know the proper procedures so that you’re ready to do it if the time should come.