Seven tips to secure business mobile phones

More and more work is being done on smartphones with remote workers getting everything from email to commercial apps on the move. While this adds flexibility to the workplace, it’s important to secure business mobile phones to protect crucial business data from accidental loss or theft.

Here, we’re looking at how you can add protection to your business smartphones, such as the Asus ZenFone range, keeping your workforce and data safe.

1. Use central management

Central device management is a must for business phones. There are third-party applications that you can use, although the Google Mobile Managment tool, available with G Suite accounts, is one of the best.

With central management, you can secure your business mobile phones, letting you manage which apps can be installed, delete data when users leave, restrict access to specific features and more.

With the right tool, you can manage both the devices that your business owns and provides to your employees, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) smartphones.

2. Enforce lockscreen protection

Make sure that all access to phones is protected by a secure lockscreen PIN at the minimum. This prevents the handset from being accessed by someone if it’s lost or stolen.

There’s a danger that long PIN codes can be hard for users to remember, so look for easier-to-use and more powerful security features. For example, the Asus ZenFone 4 has an integrated fingerprint sensor, which lets users securely unlock their devices with their fingers.

3. Encrypt data

Enabling encryption on business mobile phones is essential. Should the handset be lost or stolen and access gained to it, the data on the phone will be unreadable to anyone without the encryption password.

4. Use a VPN

Make sure that you use a VPN to connect remote users to your business. This method creates a secure tunnel through any internet connection, protecting all traffic from being snooped on or stolen.

A VPN is an excellent method to use in all situations, but particularly when using Wi-Fi hotspots, many of which are insecure.

5. Use the cloud

Where possible, provide access to enterprise services via the cloud, with data stored remotely not locally. That way, all work and changes are securely backed up to the cloud. And, if the phone is lost, the most recent changes will be saved securely in the cloud.

In this way, business data remains secure at all times, and the mobile phone will only contain a cached copy of the most recent data used. Using the cloud makes it easier to use remote wipe (see next tip), as the smartphone should not contain any unique data.

6. Enable remote wipe

To secure business mobile phones in the event of loss or theft, remote wipe lets an administrator lock the phone and, if necessary, remotely wipe it, securely removing all data from the handset.

It’s vital that all employees know that they should report a phone’s loss immediately, to minimise the chance of data loss or theft.

7. Perform platform updates

Running the latest version of an operating system can help prevent flaws from becoming an issue. With central management of your business smartphones, you can ensure that they’re all running the most secure version of the operating system. Proper testing should be taken, to make sure that the update doesn’t break compatibility with any key apps, but once done you can manage and force the update process. This prevents users from dismissing update messages, planning to do the update later.

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