January 8, 2015
One resolution to live by in 2015: With great technology comes great responsibility.
This is particularly true for organizations that utilize a BYOD plan (see The Effects and Results of Enterprise BYOD), regardless of company size or complexity.
The truth is that a multitude of poor security habits could be exposing sensitive information – and possibly your company’s sensitive information – without your knowledge.
With that in mind, read on and make sure to avoid these common security mistakes in 2015 (list courtesy of CSO Online*):
Setting up a basic lock and passcode system for your phone might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an incredibly effective precaution despite its simplicity. Phones are lost or stolen every day, and anyone who might be trying to access stored information on a phone may be thwarted by any fingerprint scanner, passcode pattern or PIN number required to unlock it.
In a worst case scenario, it’ll likely keep your information safe long enough for you to avoid disaster by locating your device via GPS signal or by erasing its memory remotely.
CIOs and IT management take note: Any devices with access to company networks and private data should always have some form of encryption or MDM (see Best Practices for Choosing the Right EMM Solution). With these measures in place, sensitive data will be slightly more protected – especially in the event of lost or stolen phones.
Some organizations find it easier to put this responsibility in the hands of an outsourced solution, which can prove beneficial in many cases (see 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Mobility Management).
Falling behind in routine upgrades to apps and operating systems could mean exposing valuable information by simply using your apps. Constant updates help devices stay up-to-date and protected against the latest cyber threats that seek to compromise devices via apps or networks.
In this way, users can patch up known weaknesses and other security flaws (for example, when a design flaw in Android OS software made some Android devices vulnerable to hackers after the Heartbleed cyberattack).
Unless an organization employs BYOD for this purpose, personal devices are no place for any kind of sensitive company data. Effective BYOD measures can ensure that company information stored on your device can be tracked and protected; however, without a BYOD program, no protection exists.
Furthermore, ensure that sensitive data is kept away from being synced with cloud storage during backups.
This point pertains to every aspect of modern technology: Never open correspondence, click links, or download content from unknown sources.
Downloading any type of software from untrusted or unknown sources can spell trouble for your device and any sensitive information it contains.
In this day and age, social media has universal appeal, encouraging users to share information and post content. That’s why it’s important to become well-versed in organizational policies about disclosing any company-related information on Twitter, Facebook, etc. – even information that seems harmless.
The good: WiFi networks are everywhere, with more popping up every day. The bad: Many of these networks are public, unprotected and therefore unsecure, which has always been an ongoing problem with WiFi (see The 10 Biggest Issues with WiFi).
The best way to avoid data breaches via open WiFi connections is to avoid open WiFi networks completely. It may be tempting to connect and avoid using your monthly data plan, but you never know who can hack into your personal information via an unsecured WiFi connection.
Note that, with the ever-growing risk of hacking and cyberattacks, businesses should be putting more effort into fortifying enterprise security as the industry continues to grow (and as BYOD and other mobile strategies become more widely embraced in the business world). On the most basic level, this includes making BYOD security a priority.
In addition, any existing BYOD plans should reap maximum benefits for their organizations (for example, see Specify Ownership and Support in BYOD Contracts).
* Hatchimonji, Grant. 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device, CSO Online. CXO Media, Inc.