How Mobile Device Security Helps Seattle Business Owners – A Seattle Business Owners’ Guide (Part 6)

There’s a high probability you’re reading this on your phone right now, and that this is only one small part of the business you conduct every day using your phone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device.

And that’s not necessarily a good thing for your business’s cybersecurity. Why? Because all those mobile devices accessing your network form a massive attack vector that cybercriminals can use to break into your systems.

Therefore, in Part 6 of the Seattle Business Owners’ Guide to IT Security, let’s talk about mobile device security. (By this point, you know the drill: we’ll wait a moment while you prep your coffee….)

In parts 1-5 of this handy guide, we explained what an MSP does for your business, compared outsourced vs. in-house IT, clarified the importance of IT security assessments, outlined potential MSP services you might need, and discussed why organizations are increasingly choosing business continuity to protect their records. Get up to speed when you read them all.

What Is Mobile Device Security?

Straightforward stuff here, folks: mobile device security protects your… mobile devices. (Betcha never saw that answer coming!) These days, this includes the expected things: phones, laptops, and tablets; as well as weirder things like wearables, Nest thermostats and security cams, smart fridges, and other IoT devices.

Think you don’t have smart fridges or smart teakettles lurking in your network? Think again. As it turns out, there’s a large number of these stealth IoT devices connected to business networks – and their impact can be ugly.

In addition to protecting the sensitive business data on these devices, mobile device security also helps prevent unauthorized access to your networks using these devices.

How Much Danger Does a Mobile Device Cause, Anyway?

Unfortunately, these small items pack a big punch when it comes to cyberthreats. Since mobile devices are used more often than desktops in our modern world, cybercriminals are targeting mobiles more than computers these days. That means there’s a whole world out there of:

That last one there? That’s a way bigger problem than you’d think, and it’s worth its own section while we’re on the topic of mobile device security.

The Facts on Data Leakage

A fascinating piece in the New York Times “Privacy Project” newsletter recently outlined how much data leakage we’re all dealing with – without even knowing it. The piece talked about SDKs (software development kits) for popular cloud services like Facebook, and how much data they’re collecting from all of us, including your business, without explicit consent.

Blah, blah, blah, right? At this point, we all know that Facebook is pretty creepy about collecting data on their users, but here’s the kicker: you don’t even have to be a registered Facebook user for Facebook to collect data on you.

Terrifying, right? The short but chilling piece is worth a read… and if you read it on your phone, tablet, or laptop, take a second to stop and think what type of data Facebook has on you now that you’ve read the article.

(We’re not saying Facebook has extra data on you now… but the point is you don’t know. And, in our opinion, that’s totally wrong.)

Does Your Business Need Mobile Device Security Protection?

Of course, as in all network security measures, the answer to this depends on your specific setup. However, as a broad answer, we’d say that you should strongly consider mobile device security if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • Your workplace allows BYOD
  • The majority of your employees have at least one device they use for work
  • You don’t have a clear BYOD policy, or you don’t have a way to monitor compliance with that policy
  • You haven’t completed a comprehensive employee cyber-awareness training lately
  • You don’t use a VPN
  • You’re not sure what business data might be stored on your employees’ devices
  • You find any surprising IoT devices on your network (a free network security scan can help find them)

If any of these sound familiar, 2020 should be your year to close the gaps in your business’s cybersecurity. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do this… as long as you work with the right Managed IT Services Provider (MSP).

Choose Interplay – Seattle’s Trusted MSP

Since 2001, Interplay has been helping Seattle business owners secure and protect their business data and business IT with tailored solutions that cover the gaps in your specific business. Best of all, Interplay is local, with our one and only world headquarters right here in Seattle, so when you need in-person help, we’ll come on over, roll up our sleeves, and get to work on your systems.

Our mobile device security protection offers a wide range of solutions, including help crafting rock-solid BYOD policies, employee education about safe apps and phishing avoidance training, mobile device management software solutions that offer remote wipe services for lost and stolen devices, VPN setup, and IoT-specific protections that keep your business and data safe.

Learn more about Interplay’s services here.


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