Our last two articles examined the major threats that are posed to Smartphones. In this article, we examine some of the remediative actions that you can take to protect your wireless devices.
The Best Practices
Make use of Cybersecurity Insurance Policies:
As it has been just described, mobile devices will always continue to be a top prey for the Cyberattacker, given just how dependent we are upon them as a society. Once a security breach impacts your mobile workforce, the financial implications can take quite a toll on your business. Therefore, it is imperative that you procure some sort of Cybersecurity Insurance Policy that includes full, 100% coverage for any breaches that occur to your wireless devices. While risk mitigation should be one of your top priorities in case you are impacted, you also need to be able to contain the costs of the fallout as quickly as possible as well, and this is where a good policy can do that.
Educate your employees on the dangers of public Wi-Fi:
For most employees, having the ability to work remotely is a good break from the normal grind of going to the office every day. While this is certainly advantageous, there is one primary security pitfall with this: Making use of the Public Wi-Fi. Many of these hotspots remain insecure, and if they do require a password, it is often posted on a wall somewhere in the business establishment so that people can see it easily. To make matters even worse, even if your employee logs in over the public Wi-Fi making use of all of the security protocols you have provided to them, there is the chance that there could be someone sitting nearby with a network sniffer covertly hidden. This can capture all of the data packets that are in transmission and can be analyzed later in order to garner any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or other mission critical data. Thus, the best option here is to totally enforce a zero-tolerance policy on using public Wi-Fi hotspots to conduct work related matters. If one must absolutely be used, then written permission must be provided by the IT Security team. In these cases, then use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) must also be implemented.
Implement the use of Multifactor Authentication (MFA):
Traditionally, it was Two Factor Authentication (2FA) that was widely implemented in order to ensure that the legitimate employees could gain access to the shared resources on the corporate servers. But this is now proving to be ineffective, as the Cyberattacker is now able to break through these two lines of defenses. Therefore, your business should seriously consider the utilization of MFA, which uses at least three or even more layers of authentication before the employee is allowed access to anything. In this instance, Biometrics is a very viable option. This is where the legitimacy of the individual claiming to be who they are is confirmed (or denied) based upon the unique physiological or behavioral traits that he or she possesses. For most applications, it is Fingerprint Recognition and Iris Recognition that are the most widely used. In fact, Biometrics can eliminate passwords all together, which are the main culprit for at least 80% of the security breaches that occur today.
Keep track of the mobile apps:
These are becoming just as popular or even more than the wireless devices themselves. Although they can help to improve employee productivity, many of them are malicious in nature, which are extremely hard to detect. For example, at one-point time, there were well over 700,000 rogue mobile apps that were found in Google’s Play Store. Therefore, you need to instruct your employees that they are not allowed to download any kind of mobile app on company issued devices unless prior, written approval to do so has been granted by the IT Security staff. In this regard, it is also equally important that you conduct regular audits of your devices to make sure that your employees are abiding by this policy.
Maintain the remote wipe functionality:
Given just how sleek wireless devices have become, the chances are even greater now that they could lost or even stolen. If this ever happens, it means that whatever sensitive information and data that was stored on it is prone to being hijacked and used for malicious purposes. In order to avoid this situation entirely, you should implement what is known as the “remote wipe”. Thus, if a wireless device mysteriously disappears, you an issue this command remotely in order eliminate all of the information/data that was stored on it. But timing is of the essence here. You must instruct your employees to contact someone on the IT Security staff immediately once they notice that their wireless device is missing. To facilitate this, you should probably implement a 24-hour hotline in order to for the employee to provide immediate notification.
Our next article will continue to examine more steps that you can take to protect your wireless devices, especially your Smartphones.
Ravi Das is a Cybersecurity Consultant and Business Development Specialist. He also does Cybersecurity Consulting through his private practice, RaviDas Tech, Inc. He also possesses the Certified in Cybersecurity (CC) cert from the ISC2.