Have you noticed you’ve been receiving more and more scam emails and texts in recent months? Perhaps it’s the ‘Post Office’ asking you to rebook a delivery slot, or a bank you don’t have an account with telling you your card details have been compromised. Whichever route scammers are taking, phone hacking is one of the most serious security concerns today.
This is because our phones have become such an essential part of our lives, holding information on all aspects of our every day, through our messages, photos, banking, social media and work data. Almost all of our sensitive data is held on mobile devices, making our phones an increasingly bigger target for scammers.
You don’t need to be a security expert to be aware of the potential risks scammers pose to the sensitive data on your phone. Knowing the risks and knowing how to protect your devices are two different things though – not all scams are as easy to spot as those poorly spelled texts you get from ‘Evri’.
Business leaders therefore have a particularly big problem, with their whole workforce being a potential target for scams and hacks. Whether employees have a work phone or use their own personal device for work, it is extremely important to ensure the entire organisation is secure.
So, how can businesses help their employees keep their phones safe in a world of growing cyber danger and protect their organisation’s own data as a result?
Education, education, education
With every individual in an organisation being a potential risk, business leaders must take the lead and properly support their employees with easily digestible help and advice. Mobile security training should therefore be widespread from top to bottom.
The security space is always changing at a rapid pace – businesses should work with their IT teams to stay up-to-date on what threats are out there and what tools are available to combat them. For example, Apple recently disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for iPhones and have released a system update in response. Businesses must keep tabs on important news like this and encourage swift action from relevant employees to secure themselves and the company.
Speaking of Apple, the company also recently announced the launch of a new ‘Lockdown’ feature to combat growing threats in the wake of spyware scandals like Pegasus. The feature blocks a number of different iPhone access points by restricting some of its usual functionalities in order to prevent a large number of known malwares from compromising the devices. Though this feature is more likely to be aimed at high-profile public figures, it is still a good example of a centralised tech solution that business leaders and workers alike should be aware of.
Regular communication and training around security is therefore essential to guarantee a consistent level of knowledge and concerted effort across teams. By involving all employees in the process, you are not only plugging vulnerable holes in your organisation’s security, but giving each individual ownership over company security and highlighting the important role they have to play as a member of the team.
Back it up with the right framework
Employees are the first line of defence, which is why loading them with the right knowledge is so crucial. However, this is only half the challenge and employees need to of course be supported by the right framework to protect their phones as much as possible.
This means investing in mobile security solutions that can minimise the threat of malware and phishing attacks. Mobile Device Management (MDM) allows organisations to enforce security compliance on devices across the business, regardless of the operating system, and configure settings related to email, Wi-Fi, device permissions and encryptions.
For example, an IT admin could enforce a stricter PIN code policy, requiring all users to have a six or eight digit PIN to access their phone. Multi Factor Authentication adds an extra layer of protection too, ensuring the right end user is trying to access a certain device.
Device loss or theft can be another common hazard and so remote wiping software is a key safeguard. Organisations can secure the potentially sensitive data on a device or wipe it completely to prevent information falling into the wrong hands when the device itself could be anywhere.
Whether you’re a giant in your sector with thousands of employees across the world or a small business of 20 in one location, a mix of strong security tech with thorough staff training is what will keep mobile devices, and sensitive company data, safe. A clear security policy, enforced by the right technology, acts as the backbone, whilst regular security education will give members of staff at every level confidence and peace-of-mind.