How Irish Businesses can Adopt Mobile Working and Maintain Security
Your device manufacturer will from time to time release updates with identified bug fixes and software enhancements. Keeping up to date with releases ensures you are protected from the latest threats and have the newest features.
Lock your phone with a password or fingerprint detection. Try using a sentence as your password, it’s easier to remember. Set the time on your password lock to be short as well - 60 seconds or less.
If not turned on by default on your device, consider encrypting your device. Doing so will protect sensitive data, whether its business data or just your photos.
Be cautious what you do while using free Wi-Fi, it may not be secure. Try not to carry out banking transactions or transmit sensitive data when connected to them.
Always backup everything stored on your mobile device that is of any importance to you - files, photos and contact details. Secure automated backups will mean the world to you if your device is lost or stolen.
If you’re on an iPhone, you don’t have much of a choice. For Android users however, staying on Google Play and not allowing apps from unknown sources keeps you relatively safe. If you do decide to use thirdparty apps, be “app aware”. Read reviews, and if the app asks for access to too much personal data up front, don’t download it.
Avoid jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting your Android. While the processes are different, the end result is bypassing what phone manufacturers intended (including security protocols) and ultimately weakening the security of your device.
Fraudulent text messages, calls and voicemails are on the rise. Remember, requests for personal data or immediate action are almost always scams.
It’s best practice to have a second or even third email account for registering for mailshots, websites, etc. If possible, try not to duplicate passwords from account to account. In 2011, the infamous Dropbox hack resulted in tens of thousands of usernames and passwords being compromised. Because people had used the same username and password combination for multiple different services, all their other accounts were compromised too.
A mobile workforce is still your workforce, and your workforce is still your responsibility. However, changes in the way people work can also demand changes in the way you manage them.
The current generation entering the workforce sees mobility as a necessity. If you want to attract and hold onto them as employees, you need to think the same way. An effective technological infrastructure for mobile working is one aspect. An appropriate attitude towards mobility and workplace flexibility is another.
Managing a virtual team of mobile workers demands a different set of management skills. Building trust amongst management and instilling accountability amongst employees is essential to effective mobile working. Cloud-based reporting tools can help create transparency. Performance - or outputbased management – rather than a clocking-in and out/ 9-5 approach becomes critical.
Ireland has the highest penetration of phone internet users anywhere in Europe, North America or South America. They’ll have their personal phones with them as they work, and may even use them for work. It’s essential you have a security policy in place which covers, defines or prohibits personal devices and their use.