We often think of cyber security in terms of protecting our networks, but we are only starting to think of it in terms of protecting devices and information outside of our networks. Mobile device security becomes more important as we work more outside the confines of our protected networks.
What do you do to decrease the risk and impact of loss or theft of devices you carry outside the safe confines of your office?
- Always ensure your device is password protected. Use strong passwords and passcodes where possible. If your device supports fingerprint scanning, enable it.
- Enable full disk or device encryption whenever possible. Even if you lose the device, the data will be protected.
- Keep your devices with you if at all possible. If it’s impossible or impractical to keep them on your person, store them somewhere secure. Ensure that this is some place, person, or organization that you trust.
- Downplay the device. If you lock a device in your car, ensure it’s not visible to the public. Store it in the trunk rather than in the back seat. Don’t flaunt your devices in public areas. Advertising that you have the newest phone or laptop only increases the risk of theft.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This should just be a general piece of life guidance, but it’s even more important when dealing with sensitive information. Ensure that no one can see you typing passwords or easily capture the contents of your screen. Also be mindful of suspicious activity around you in public places.
- Use a cable lock when appropriate. If you can’t use a lock or it’s not appropriate, use the buddy system. Both of these will deter potential thieves from walking away with your device.
- Backup your files. If your device does get stolen, you don’t want it to have the only copy of critical information.
- Use find-my-device and device-wiping functions or software on your devices. If a device is stolen, you can transmit a command to lock it down and wipe any data as an added layer of security.
Larger companies may want to implement Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to make strong passwords, full device encryption, location, and wiping functionality standard across the enterprise.
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