Securing mobile devices for the holidays

The holiday season is looming and, while many workplaces are shutting down, your business may have some of its employees who plan to continue working remotely. However, to do this securely workers must take appropriate precautions and avoid overlooking securing mobile devices.

The popularity of mobile devices and their access to data makes mobile security especially important this time of year. Cyber criminals know that employees can get caught up in the rush of the holiday season, making them potentially easy targets. You need to ensure their devices are well protected to avoid frustration and compromised data.

There are four ways  to secure mobile devices over the holidays:

1. Check mobile networks
All devices connected to the Internet to share data are part of a network. Your employees who will be working remotely over the holidays need to ensure that the Wi-Fi network they are connecting to is legitimate and secure. The best way to do this is to check if the network requires a password. A password ensures encryption to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive data and other personal information.

2. Beware of mobile applications
Downloading applications for work can open the door for malicious software. Laptops are more at risk due to their ability to install any software without being limited to a specific app store. Updating anti-malware and anti-virus software before the holidays can help detect threats that would otherwise go unnoticed, and help secure devices from harmful downloads and apps.

3. Develop a strong password
Anyone can pick up an unprotected device and obtain sensitive information within seconds, which is why all devices should be protected with a strong password. A good password includes a random combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to make it harder for someone to guess. Your remote employees should also look at personalising security settings, to automatically lock the screen of any device after remaining inactive for a minute.

4. Ensure a solid IT foundation
Before the office closes for the year, your IT staff should ensure all software, features, and security fixes are up to date. Checking for device updates will help secure devices and identify any holes cyberattackers can use to gain access.

Those who are planning on working from mobile devices over the holidays should consider all the potential risks and take the proper measures to ensure their devices, data, and sensitive information is all protected. Cyber-criminals don’t take holidays, so neither should security

Ardy Sharifnia, General Manager – ANZ, Ixia

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