In this Digital era, it has become impossible to run a business without devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. In fact, these technologies have become so indispensable that most companies provide their own employees with the devices precisely for handling business-related tasks.
However, a business owner cannot just hand the devices to the employees and neglect to address the cybersecurity and security threats.
If you are planning on purchasing new business devices for planned expansion, or you want to reset the devices for the new employees after a bit of turnover, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about protection. Also, we’ll go through some useful security tips if your company is applying the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy.
Be Careful What You Buy
The protection of the company’s devices and data begins with the moment of purchase. If you are buying more than several assets, you are probably looking to save money, but opting for the cheapest units is not always the best solution.
While a brand name is not always the guarantee of quality, you should steer clear of discount units which could come at the price of the security and include malware. Make sure you research the brands and the devices and choose the ones you trust the most.
Deconstruct the Software
Even new computers, phones, and tablets come with preinstalled software which is often unnecessary. By removing the apps your employees are unlikely to use, you are gaining drive space and minimizing the risk of potentially malicious software.
Some of the things that are the biggest waste of valuable space are browsers (one is enough for most people), sub-par editing tools, and sponsored games.
Construct a Standard Set of Tools and Preferences
When the devices are “clean” of bloatware and unnecessary software, you can start with the standardization of the programs. Before you hand the device to the employee, install the software necessary for work and create a policy when it comes to downloading new apps.
Note that some departments might have different needs when it comes to software. For example, graphic designers and HR manager hardly use all the same tools.
Keep Your Devices Remotely Accessible
People lose things. Your employees are people and people sometimes get robbed. Consequently, you should be ready for these kinds of scenarios in your firm. Property insurance is no longer enough because the assets don’t have only physical value. They carry data which can, if discovered outside the company, severely harm the business.
If a computer, phone or tablet gets lost or stolen, you should be able to wipe the hard drive and delete all data before it is compromised. Depending on the OS the devices use, you can find plenty of tools to secure this type of protection.
Mobile Security, 1 Tap Eraser, and Autowipe are, for example, decent options for Android, while HiddenApp for iOS comes with many additional options including tracking the location, using “secret screenshots” to capture the thief on camera, remote password protection, and file recovery.
Physically Lock the Devices
Laptops and cellphones are among the most frequently stolen items, and not only in business. Every time an employee walks away from the desk or goes to the toilet break at a coffee shop, the devices left behind are in danger of being stolen.
What you can do is make the work of the thieves that much harder with a device lock. Most of the laptops come with built-in slots to enable the attachment of a key lock or a combination, but there are plenty of options even for those that do not have such slots.
Make the Devices Harder to Sell
Thieves rarely steal the device for the sake of having a new gadget. They usually do that to sell it and make money. If you take that possibility away from them or make it more unlikely, they could give up on their intention to steal.
You can do that by using non-removable identification labels with company information engraved. When attached with tamper-resistant “high bond” adhesive these tags can be pretty discouraging for thieves.
In 2018, half of the American businesses had BYOD policies, and nearly 70% of IT decision-makers are pro-BYOD. While this approach has many benefits, it also requires a dose of attention when it comes to security. Here are a few tips that can help you regulate this area:
- Have rules for apps that can be installed, and blacklist software that carries malware risk.
- Monitor the devices’ location during office hours.
- Train your staff to be aware of the security policies.
- Make decisions about the level of data which can be accessed with personal devices.
- Limit the storage of business data on personal units.
Securing and protecting the company’s devices or the personal devices the employees use to access business data is essential in the time when data breaches can force businesses to shut down their entire operations. The tips we gave you should help you make your business less vulnerable to these threats. However, this list should be constantly updated as new technologies are making their way onto the market.