Mobile technology cyber safe

As part of our cyber security guides, QASSS has put together a quick guide based on NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) advice to help businesses become more cyber resilient. In this article, we look at mobile technology.

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY – STAYING CYBER SAFE

Mobile technology is now an essential part of modern business, with more of our data being stored on tablets and smartphones.

Here are 5 quick tips that can help keep your mobile devices, and the information stored on them, secure.

Tip 1: Switch on password protection

A suitably complex PIN or password (opposed to a simple one that can be easily guessed or gleaned from your social media profiles) will prevent the average criminal from accessing your phone.

Many devices now include fingerprint recognition to lock your device, without the need for a password. However, these features are not always enabled ‘out of the box’, so you should always check they have been switched on.

Tip 2: Make sure lost or stolen devices can be tracked, locked or wiped

Staff are more likely to have their tablets or phones stolen (or lose them) when they are away from the office or home. Fortunately, most devices include free web-based tools that are invaluable should you lose your device.

You can use them to:

  • track the location of a device
  • remotely lock access to the device (to prevent anyone else using it)
  • remotely erase the data stored on the device
  • retrieve a backup of data stored on the device

Setting up these tools on all your organisation’s devices may seem a huge job, but by using mobile device management software, you can set up your devices to a standard configuration with a single click.

Tip 3: Keep your devices up to date

All manufacturers (for example Windows, Android, iOS) release regular updates that contain critical security updates to keep the device protected. This process is quick, easy, and free; devices should be set to automatically update, where possible.

Make sure everyone knows how important these updates are, and explain how to do it, if necessary. At some point, these updates will no longer be available (as the device reaches the end of its supported life), at which point you should consider replacing it with a modern alternative.

Tip 4: Keep your apps up to date

Just like the operating systems on your organisation’s devices, all the applications that you have installed should also be updated regularly with patches from the software developers.

These updates will not only add new features, but they will also patch any security holes that have been discovered. Make sure staff know when updates are ready, how to install them, and how important it is to do so straight away.

Tip 5: Don’t connect to unknown Wi-Fi Hotspots

Ensure staff understand why they should not connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots (for example in hotels or coffee shops), as there is no way to easily find out who controls the hotspot, or to prove that it belongs to who you think it does.

If you connect to these hotspots, somebody else could access:

  • what you are working on whilst connected
  • your private login details that many apps and web services maintain whilst you’re logged on

The simplest precaution is to not connect to the internet using unknown hotspots, and instead use your mobile 3G or 4G mobile network, which will have built-in security.

You can also use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), a technique that encrypts your data before it is sent across the Internet. If you are using third party VPNs, you’ll need the technical ability to configure it yourself, and should only use VPNs provided by reputable service providers.

IT Solutions

QASSS is a Cyber Essentials accredited business and able to provide businesses with support and insights on how to best manage security with their organisation.

We understand the needs of home improvement and renewable companies and offer a wide range of bespoke IT solutions. If you’d like advice and support, contact us on 0330 335 3354 or email n.raja@qasss.co.uk

 

 

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