Securing Mobile Devices: Make it Easy or Pay the Price

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Mobile devices have changed the business landscape. Today, over 50% of the work force use tablets or smart phones as regular business tools. While the benefits are obvious and numerous, our reliance on mobile devices has also opened a significant hole in information security. Mobile devices are easily lost or stolen, and will be frequently targeted due to ease of access and poor password strength. In a recent study, only 39 percent of companies have security controls in place to mitigate mobile device risks. Given the known risk of security breaches, companies must invest in a proper strategy for combatting mobile device information theft. Here are a few points to consider:

To BYOD or Not BYOD?

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a common business practice where employees can use their own personal devices for work purposes. This can lower costs, but also brings up a number of support and security related challenges. With BYOD, companies still need to control the delivery of business applications and access to critical information. There are a lot of tools available for security and managing employee-owned devices, and it is critical companies research and invest in the one that is right for them.

Password, Password, Password

One of the most common vulnerabilities is a weak password. Recently, a dump containing user data such as usernames, e-mail addresses, password hashes, and password hints for millions of Adobe customers was leaked online. Considering that many people use the same password for multiple programs, it is likely that tens of millions of user accounts were compromised. When managing mobile device passwords, it is important to educate employees on proper password creation. Remember, passwords are like underwear; change them often, keep them private and never share them with anyone.

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