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Mobile technologies have transformed the way we live and how we do business- in a fantastic way! Mobility has given businesses and employees the gift of flexibility, increased communication and faster results, among other benefits. However, cyber criminals have caught on to our growing use of mobile devices and have begun working hard to exploit the vulnerabilities. Android has been the main focus for cyber criminals as they have the largest market share… as a result, over 90% of threats targeting mobile devices are Android malware.

The most common malware leads to short message fraud and privacy invasion- such as allowing the cyber criminals to intercept messages, monitor calls and steal information. So, the potential for hackers to obtain sensitive business data is significant. Likewise, despite the increased threats, studies show that businesses aren’t cutting back on using mobile devices.

So what can companies to stay secure? Beef up your mobile security policy and enforce it. We work with our customers in St. Louis and Indianapolis to establish their workplace technology usage policies and are really honing in on the mobile security piece- the lack there of could be debilitating to our customers and their future.

Lisa Phifer of Core Competence Inc. has identified 5 best practices for mobile device security- definitely take these into account as you create or enhance your mobile security policy:

1. Mobile device locks– if possible, auto-configure enrolled devices to enable built-in PIN or password locks and enforce complexity rules.
2. Remote data wipe for mobile devices– for company owned devices, remote wiping prevents unauthorized use of business data in the event the device gets lost/stolen or the employee leaves the company (but if the device is an employee’s personal device, explicit permission from the user must be received before enabling business use).
3. Mobile locationing and tracking– on-going tracking can help IT recover lost devices or generate roaming alerts to warn about possible vulnerabilities.
4. Stored data encryption on mobile devices
5. Mobile activity monitoring and audit– in addition to the above configurations, monitoring is critical to ensure data and activities comply with guidelines.

In the wake of all the cyber security issues in the news, businesses should be concerned with what and how their employees are conducting business on the go; however, when proper security measures are in place mobility in the workplace shouldn’t be an issues.

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