Mobile workforce employees using smartphones, tablets and laptops can make a business more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. What are the three biggest cybersecurity threats for businesses with mobile workforces, and what are the most important things businesses can do to protect themselves?
In 2017, the mobile workforce is one of the biggest growing trends. Most people are always on the go, which, in turn, makes them use their personal mobile devices for work purposes. For example, most businessmen sync Outlook with iPhone or Android device to be always available for clients and employees. Mobile workforce makes businesses more vulnerable to data breaches, hacks and business process compromise.
Here are the Top-3 cybersecurity threats that businesses with mobile workforces face:
Threat #1 – Compromising sensitive business data
Because some sensitive business data circulates outside the company’s IT infrastructure, it becomes easier for malicious actors to steal some parts of it or even compromise entire business process and sell this data to competitors. This can be done through exploits and zero-day vulnerabilities of the mobile operating systems.
To fight this threat, you should develop and implement a set of data security policies that regulate which devices can be used within your IT infrastructure and educate your staff to follow the best cybersecurity practices and make sure they are aware of how to avoid the most common attacks and threats.
Threat #2 – Breaking data security policies
There is no clear answer to whether you should allow or ban using corporate and personal mobile devices to access your company’s data, such as important emails and customers’ data. Sometimes even log files can be a great source of data for competitors. Poor or no data security policies related to the mobile workforce can destroy all other cybersecurity policies, no matter how perfect they are because the chain is as strong as its weakest link. On the other hand, implementing super strict access rules and data security policies would negatively affect employees’ productivity and could cause even more damage, than a hacking attack.
To fight this threat effectively you need to find a balance between security and flexibility. For example, you can allow the use of personal mobile devices but implement a policy that only allows using them through VPN. Hardware data encryption can be a solution as well, allowing people to use their smartphones to work with company’s data, but protecting it from access breach in case their devices are stolen or misplaced.
Threat #3 – Loosing important data because of the ransomware attack
During the past few years, ransom ware attacks ranged from a rarely reported virus attacks to one of the biggest cybersecurity threats of the year. Recently reported WannaCry ransomware is just the beginning of a big tide of ransomware attacks. In some cases, the attacker does not even offer an option to pay a ransom and get the data back.
To fight this threat, the best option is switching to SaaS solutions, which will ensure all the local files and records are sent back to the server and deleted from a user’s device once the work is done. In this case, a full control over your business data will remain in your hands and you could keep improving your data security policies while your employees have all the data they need at their fingertips.