Top Strategies for Mobile Data Security

Protecting your data in a mobile environment can be a crucial business concern for many companies. Whether your company provides and manages your employees’ mobile devices, or you follow a bring-your-own-device model, following best practices in mobile computing and data security can help keep your assets safe. This can be especially important for businesses who have embraced the remote-first, virtual work environment. Here are the top strategies you can try for protecting your data in a mobile environment:

Access Only Approved Networks

When using a device that stores or accesses sensitive corporate data, avoid connecting to a public internet network. Hackers often know to prey on devices that are connected to unsecured, public internet connections. This can leave you open to an array of stealthy malware, viruses and other malicious activity that could put your data in peril. Mobile devices storing important or sensitive company information should not access public networks, so it’s important to train your team accordingly and emphasize policies regarding which networks are acceptable to access using devices that also store company assets.

Keep Your Devices Updated

Keeping your mobile device’s operating system updated is one of the best ways to protect and secure your mobile data and assets. Hackers know to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated systems, so almost all major device providers ship frequent security updates. If your device prompts you to update your operating system consider doing so immediately. You can also turn on automatic device updates to make sure you don’t miss an important security update that can keep your data safe.

Require User Authentication

Using a passcode, password or other secure user authentication to access your device is a best practice in mobile data security. Be sure to use these procedures on your own device and implement training that includes this practice for your team. Defined user authentication policies can also help ensure your data is secure across multiple team members and their devices.

Develop Clear Access Control Policies

Implement access control policies and procedures for company devices to add another safeguard to keep malfeasance out of your company’s private data. Use a mobile device management (MDM) program to centralize your organization’s access to company devices and your procedures for securing user access as well. Encrypt sensitive company data, especially when uploading and downloading that data to or from your device. Implement additional levels of control regarding which users and applications can access what types of data on each device, besides the general device access control measures.

Establish Robust Backup Procedures

If your device is ever compromised, it’s crucial to regain your data even if you cannot access your device. Frequent backups can help ensure your assets are secure in another location other than your mobile device, which adds another important layer of asset security. Develop a company-wide backup procedure that ensures you frequently save all company data to another secure location such as an on-site data center or company cloud storage resource. Provide thorough training and reminders regarding your device and data backup procedures and policies.

Consider Cloud Security

If your company stores data on the cloud as well as locally, it’s important to note which devices access these assets and which apps they use to do so. Implement a cloud data backup policy that is as robust as your general mobile data backup procedures and train your employees on these backup policies and procedures. You can also purchase cloud backup products that automate this process for you.

When selecting a cloud storage program for your digital assets, be sure to look for a product that offers version control to allow access to prior iterations of your data, especially in the instance that your assets are compromised.

Leverage Built-in Device Security Tools

Many modern devices include pre-installed security tools that may benefit your company’s device security, especially if team members use many types of devices and operating systems. Research these options and decide whether they can form a part of your cohesive device security plan. Though they may not replace the industry-specific tools that you need for total device security, they may enhance or support the other tools you use for mobile data security.

Assess Your Internal Mobile Data Security Policies

Frequently reflect on your company’s mobile data security policies and determine whether they are still providing the level of protection you need. Develop a structured review process that involves key security individuals within your organization. Don’t hesitate to retire tools that no longer serve your security needs and implement others that might better serve your mobile data security needs.

Leverage Third-Party Mobile Data Security Tools

You can also support your internal mobile device security procedures by leveraging software products specifically designed to keep your mobile data safe. Identify your outstanding device security needs and research products that might automate them for you. When you’re choosing a third-party mobile data security tool, here are some questions you might ask:

  • How scalable is this tool? If your organization is poised to grow you might find yourself managing larger amounts of data over time. Be sure whichever tool you choose can handle your data security needs later in your company’s development. When you think about scalability, consider elements of growth like possible price increases, automation and user-friendliness.
  • Which devices need to be secured? If you are concerned only with securing mobile devices, you might need a different tool than if you also need to secure desktop computers and servers. If you need to secure multiple types and levels of devices consider a general endpoint security suite.
  • What are your security concerns? Some organizations are more concerned about internal data leaks, while others focus their security efforts on mitigating external data breaches. Many companies face a combination of both in varying degrees. When you’re researching a third-party mobile data security solution, pay attention to whether a product might provide more robust protection from one type of threat or another. Try to match your security needs to the strengths of the product you choose.

Considering mobile data security before it becomes a problem can help save your company time and money, and protect your customers’ best interests. Use the information we’ve provided here to evaluate and implement smart security procedures for your company’s mobile devices.