Most of us have been there. Maybe you know that feeling in the pit of our stomach? I’m talking about losing a phone, laptop, tablet or some other vital mobile device. It’s something we vow never to let happen again, but invariably, it does.
First, we worry about the phone. Then we really worry about what’s on the phone and data, privacy and security concerns arise.
A recent news story highlighted such concerns with the revelation that a stolen iPhone was receiving iMessage content, despite the original owner thinking the phone was fully wiped and de-activated.
For security professionals, it’s an ongoing battle over data integrity. What is on the device may not be priceless, but in the wrong hands, damage to the brand and reputation can be immense. Loss of contacts can also seriously compromise business relationships.
Mobile devices offer benefits: focusing on security policies
Most firms may have a policy for deleting data on lost devices that are provided by the company, but the situation is further complicated by the growing need to allow staff the freedom to work through their own devices. Any new device, operating system or application can potentially pose a new risk for IT team.
So at this time of exponential growth in mobile device usage, perhaps it’s a good time to assess your company’s ability to protect data on missing mobile devices. If devices are lost, can data be erased? Can everything be easily erased? Can messaging services be cut off? On a more proactive level, is software installed to track devices that go missing? Is risk being really managed appropriately?
Ultimately, the business benefits of mobile devices far outweigh the risks, but it is incumbent on any business to ensure they are doing everything possible to provide information security for the benefit of all stakeholders.