ByPhilip Edwards Hausner
Holiday season begins soon. As we make our checklists and planning our vacations, here's one vital item to mark - smartphone security. Reason being, for instance you and your friends take a well-deserved break, of course you'll be taking your personal communication gadgets with you - like the cell phone.
And chances are you may want to access corporate data. In fact, according to 'Symantec Security Check, an Indian Financial Services Industry 2011' showed that 81% of smartphone users access corporate information in their organizations.
With numerous alarming threats, emerging from unsecured networks to malicious apps, smartphone users (especially corporate employees) should cautiously consider these security threats and ensure that needed vacation from work doesn't turn damaging.
The following best practices should you keep handsets secure:
Passcode lock feature:The first thing is to employ the 'passcode lock' feature, and ensure it is of a secure password: This could appear obvious, but 18% of smartphone users worldwide do not employ the passcode lock feature. This is the most essential security precaution with minimal effort that the user can employ.
Encrypt the data: Make sure you only permit devices that support encryption, hence guaranteeing that in the event where a device is stolen or misplaced, nobody could ever access vital corporate data. This could diminish the risk of a potentially costly data breach, hence additional cost for the need for new equipment replacement.
Use a cellphone device management solution: Smartphones and tablets nowadays are being used the just as PCs and laptops in which they are used to access email, access corporate servers and download enterprise apps. In the end, these device sand apps need to be administered through the whole device lifecycle from device provisioning, securing, monitoring and device retirement.
Ensure OS and apps are updated regularly and use security software: Although most business organizations offer security software for work-related smartphones, 42% of business smartphone users globally are unaware if their organizations provide any, this is another research done by Symantec survey.
Follow employer-specified practices: Any cell phone device that has access to sensitive corporate data should be subject to corporate policies.
Take in account new threats: Traditionally, the utmost threat to mobile security has always been physical misplacement or theft of devices, and with the introduction of numerous apps hackers are more and more switching to apps.
In several instances, these apps came as legitimate. Hackers download them, add malicious code, and then repost them. Users can't detect any difference in functionality once the have downloaded such apps in their smartphone, yet the downloaded app carries out malicious activity in the background.
In the end, although you may be enjoying your spare time this festive season of summer, cybercrime doesn't go on a vacation.