Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. According to the Ponemon Institute, 84% of people use the same smartphone for work and personal use, and mobile users’ spend more than 2 hours per day using an app. The increasing use of mobile devices for work purposes has enabled many businesses to increase productivity and efficiency. However, if businesses don’t take measures to ensure that employees are taking the necessary precautions when downloading and using apps on mobile devices, it could expose critical data and be a major security risk.

 

Approximately 179 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2014, and by 2017, that number is expected to grow to 270 billion. The number of apps downloaded is increasing, and some companies are not yet prepared to prevent and respond to mobile app security issues. A new study shows that exploiting free apps and accessing private data on mobile devices can be an easy target for hackers. In fact, most apps have been hacked. About 75% of popular free apps on Apple iOs and 80% on Android devices have been hacked. If your business hasn’t addressed the need for mobile app security, it is time to now. Here are a few tips to help keep corporate data on devices safe from app threats.

Have a list of approved mobile apps.

You can give employees a list of approved mobile apps. However, this will likely only work if the device they use is not their own personal device. Even if it is a company-owned mobile device, there is still the chance that employees will download apps that are not enterprise approved or that a device will be lost or stolen. That is why companies must also take steps to secure mobile devices.

Encrypt data on mobile devices.

Data encryption is one of the simplest but most crucial tactic that companies should use to secure data on mobile devices.

Wipe devices remotely.

The ultimate goal is to prevent malware or a hacker from infiltrating a device. But if they do or if a device is lost or stolen, wipe data from the device using mobile device management software.

Control what data applications can access.

Many mobile devices have built-in features that allow users to limit what apps can access on their phones. For instance, the apps that pose a higher security risk are often free apps that ask for location and that collect information from users.

Use mobile antivirus scans and tools.

There are some mobile applications and software than can actually detect and prevent malicious threats from other apps. Devices that are used for work purposes should have an antivirus software installed to scan for possible threats.

 

Mobile devices are transforming the workplace, and in many ways, creating a more productive and agile workforce. However, companies should consult with IT experts or a managed services provider to establish proper security policies and practices to prevent costly mobile app threats from happening.

 

About Ascent Data

We provide IT managed services and data center services that help small and medium sized businesses in the Pittsburgh region become more efficient, more competitive and more secure. Visit us at www.ascentdata.com or call 412-968-4000 and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.