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Addressing the Threat of Mobile Hacks

More cyber criminals are targeting small-to-medium sized businesses. One reason for this is too many workplaces have insufficient bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in place. Some have none at all. Although firms are generally more knowledgeable about network security risks than in years past, they still woefully underestimate the security vulnerabilities linked to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Protecting against mobile hacks is a real cause for concern since data breaches have the ability to put many already financially challenged SMBs out of business. If customer/client data has been breached, there could be potential litigation costs, and naturally, lost goodwill and an irreparable hit to brand or company reputation. Don’t Just Say You’re Worried About the Bad Guys… Deal With Them SMBs say they view network security as a major priority but their inaction when it comes to mobile devices paints a different picture. A recent study found that only 16% of SMBs have a mobility policy in place. Despite the fact that stolen devices are a major problem in today’s mobile workforce, only 37% of mobility policies enforced today have a clear protocol outlined for lost devices. Even more troubling is the fact that those firms who have implemented mobility policies have initiated plans with some very obvious flaws. Key components of a mobility policy such as personal device use, public Wi-Fi accessibility, and data transmission and storage are often omitted from many policies. Thankfully, most SMB cyber crimes can be avoided with a comprehensive mobility policy and the help of mobile endpoint mobile device management services. A Mobile Device Policy Is All About Acceptable/Unacceptable Behaviors Your initial mobility policy doesn’t have to be all encompassing. There should be room for modifications, as things will evolve over time. Start small by laying some basic usage ground rules, defining acceptable devices and protocols for setting passwords for devices and downloading third-party apps. Define what data belongs to the company and how it’s to be edited, saved, and shared. Be sure to enforce these policies and detail the repercussions for abuse to help protect against mobile hacks. What is Mobile Device Management? Mobile device management (MDM) is software that allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets and other endpoints. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of mobile devices within the business while simultaneously protecting the corporate network. Features of Mobile Device Management Services MDM services are available at an affordable cost. These services help IT managers, administrators, and business owners identify and monitor the mobile devices accessing their network. This centralized management makes it easier to get each device configured for business access to securely share and update documents and content and more on the business network. Mobile Device Management proactively secures mobile devices by: Specifying password policy and enforcing encryption settings Detecting and restricting tampered devices Remotely locating, locking, and wiping out lost or stolen devices Removing corporate data from any system while leaving personal data intact Enabling real time diagnosis/resolution of device, user, or app issues It’s important to realize that no one is immune to cyber crime. The ability to identify and combat imminent threats is critical and SMBs must be proactive in implementing solid practices that accomplish just that. If your business needs help implementing mobile device management, give us a call or use our contact form and one of our staff will reach out to you and see how we can help secure your mobile devices.

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Why Should You Get On The Cloud

4 Things to Consider Before Jumping Into BYOD

You’ve read it time and time again. “Bring Your Own Device” isn’t a trend, it’s the future. Workplaces, where companies let workers use their own devices for work purposes, are the new normal. What Is Bring Your Own Device BYOD Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the idea that employees should be allowed to use their personal devices to access company information. The main advantage of this approach is that it makes sure that the employee will always have his/her data available, even when he/she isn’t using the office computer. There are a few reasons why companies are beginning to allow this type of policy. First, many workers are already bringing their own laptops and smartphones to work. If employers don’t want them to do so, then they could simply ban these items from being brought into the workplace. Another benefit is that BYOD allows businesses to save money. Employees who bring their own technology usually won’t need IT support, and they’ll also avoid buying equipment for the business. However, there are some drawbacks to allowing this kind of policy. For example, it can make the job of the security team more difficult. This is because people may be accessing sensitive data that the employer would like to keep private. BYOD attracts new hires and lifts employee morale and productivity. But this doesn’t mean a small business owner should recklessly jump right into BYOD just because everyone else is doing it. There are a few drawbacks to bringing your phone into the office which you need to be aware of. BYOD Security The first issue relates to security. If you’re not careful then you could end up putting your entire business at risk. Data and network security concerns have to be thought out, defined, and addressed in a comprehensive BYOD policy. You need to make sure you take the time to educate your employees about it. When talking about IT security, employees are often the weakest link in a company. It’s important they know what they can and cannot do on their personal devices, why it matters, and what happens if the policy is broken. By implementing a BYOD policy, you can help protect against data breaches and cybersecurity threats. BYOD Cost of Support Most businesses salivate at the thought of the money saved by having employees participate in a BYOD program. With employees using their own devices for work, there is no need to shell out thousands of dollars for desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. While that’s undoubtedly a huge incentive, extra support costs must also be factored in. Chances are your employees aren’t necessarily tech savvy and will need help deploying applications and performing basic yet very necessary maintenance techniques. Unless you have a dedicated IT support team, which most SMBs do not have, you will need to turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in your region for support. A MSP can provide specialized expertise and leverage Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools to keep your network infrastructure and business applications monitored, secured and fully optimized. Limited Number of Support Devices Obviously, you can’t accommodate EVERY employee-owned device. Limiting the types of devices accepted in your BYOD program will mitigate any need to pay for software or equipment upgrades for outdated devices and keep your infrastructure safer as a whole. It’s important to not be too exclusive, select a broad range of devices and their more recent releases to accommodate the varied preferences/tastes of your employees. BYOD Legal Risks Adopting BYOD at your workplaces will expose your company to more legal risks. Sensitive business or private client/customer data can potentially be exposed if devices are lost or stolen. The personal online habits of your employees can also increase your network’s vulnerability to viruses, phishing, or hacking schemes designed to steal such data. These increased legal risks are another reason why SMBs must take precautions such as working with an MSP that offers a solid MDM solution to ensure all employee devices are configured, deployed, managed and monitored in a manner that prioritizes data integrity and security. Ready to implement BYOD for your business? Contact us today for a free evaluation and see how Pennyrile Technologies can help your business today.

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Mobile Device Management

A Smarter Approach to Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management has become even more important now that more people today use personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for business purposes. Such devices, coupled with greater Wi-Fi accessibility and cloud services, have empowered us with the ability to access data and do business from practically anywhere at anytime. Needless to say, many small-to-medium sized business owners have embraced the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) revolution. The benefits are obvious; increased employee productivity, enhanced services to customers/clients, and better overall customer and employee satisfaction. But what about the potential consequences associated with this mobility revolution? Are small business owners doing enough preemptive planning to address potential risks that could arise with the use of BYOD devices? Are they using mobile device management to help secure the devices and their IT infrastructure? What is BYOD? BYOD (bring your own device) in IT terms, refers to a policy that allows employees use personal devices to connect to companies network, access business applications, and company data. Personal devices may include smartphones, tablets, or personal computers. An estimated 59% of businesses have a BYOD policy in place and this number is increasing every year. What is Mobile Device Management? Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a type of security software used by IT departments to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices—such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in the organization. It can be used to monitor hardware, remotely wipe devices that have been lost, and ensuring security standards are met before allowing the device access to sensitive company data to name just a few uses. Think of it like a digital toolbox for companies to keep all their employees’ smartphones, tablets, and laptops safe, up-to-date, and working correctly. What are some of the Features of Mobile Device Management? Device Configuration Management: Allows administrators to configure settings and policies on mobile devices, such as Wi-Fi settings, email accounts, and VPN configurations. Application Management: Enables the installation, updating, and removal of apps on mobile devices. This can include managing enterprise apps and ensuring that only approved apps are installed. Security Management: Provides security features such as enforcing password policies, encrypting data, remotely locking or wiping devices, and managing compliance with security policies. Device Tracking and Inventory: Helps in tracking the location of devices, keeping an inventory of devices, and ensuring that all devices are accounted for. Content Management: Manages access to corporate content on mobile devices, ensuring that sensitive data is properly secured and accessible only to authorized users. Compliance and Monitoring: Monitors devices to ensure they comply with organizational policies and provides reports and alerts for non-compliance or potential security threats. Support and Troubleshooting: Offers tools for remote troubleshooting and support, helping IT departments address issues on mobile devices without needing physical access to them. Mobile Device Management – Questions Every SMB Should Ask First, it is important that small business owners honestly assess whether their systems, networks, data, and overall infrastructure are ready for the use of an array of mobile devices. Once it is firmly established that both internal IT and components in the cloud are prepared for BYOD, solutions should then be put into practice that are concurrent with terms of use policies or any guidelines pertaining to remote and/or telecommute workers or the sharing of sensitive data. The following questions should be answered. What particular devices or applications are permissible for work use? Assuming security requirements are in place, not every device or application will meet those. Will anyone in the company be tasked with the daily management of BYOB strategies? What should BYOD policies cover and what kind of management solutions will be needed? Would a mobile device management tool that collects device information, deploys and monitors usage, and offers insight into compliance be helpful? Which costs will be the responsibility of the employee? This pertains to any fees associated with usage – from network plans to the device itself to software, accessories, and maintenance costs. What data will be accessible? Will data encryption be necessary for certain information traveling through the personal devices of employees? Which employees will have read, write, update/delete privileges? What is the process when handling sensitive data stored on lost or stolen devices, or the personal devices of ex-employees? Does the company or organization have the right to wipe out the entire device or just corporate data and apps? Mobile Device Management Conclusion BYOD is here to stay as it affords smaller-sized companies the mobility of a corporate giant without a huge investment. But when it comes to ensuring that devices, applications, and networks are safe from the variety of threats linked to greater mobility, small business owners may find it necessary to enlist the help of a managed service provider to adequately take on and implement mobile device management for their networks and the challenges that arise with it. MDM solutions are essential for organizations that support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, as well as for those that provide company-owned devices to employees. By centralizing the management of mobile devices, organizations can ensure better security, compliance, and productivity while reducing the risks associated with mobile device usage. If you need assistance implementing BYOD or mobile device management for your business, contact Pennyrile Technologies today.

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