Unsecured mobile devices weakest link in data security

8 June 2017

  • Do you own a mobile phone/devices?
  • Do you check your work emails from that mobile phone/device?
  • Do you download and save work-related documents from your emails onto that mobile phone/device?
  • What would happen if you lost your mobile phone/device or if it got stolen?

What is the worst thing that could happen if an employee or manager lost their personal or company-provided mobile device?

Unless they backed up their data, they would lose their contacts list, photos or videos and other vital information.

They would also risk a breach in their company’s data security if they have stored company information on their mobile device.

Unsecured mobile devices are the weakest link in any company’s data security strategy because, like other technologies that have become commonplace, mobile devices are easily taken for granted in terms of ensuring their security.

From communication to mobile money transactions, the numerous functions of mobile devices render these gadgets indispensable in the professional and private lives of Zimbabweans.

Hence, any lack of vigilance in mobile device security is a terrible omission considering that more than 8 billion megabytes of data was utilized from mobile devices by Zimbabweans last year.

A 2016 final quarter report by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) found that mobile internet data usage rose by 19% indicating a growing reliance upon mobile devices to access the internet.

Whilst there are no statistics to establish the precise activities for which the mobile internet data was used, it is likely that checking work emails is a regular occurrence amongst employed mobile users.

The question of how to secure mobile devices, beyond passwords and pin-codes, must be prioritized, especially by companies whose workforce relies heavily on mobile devices to stay connected.

Since many employees open work emails from their mobile devices, possibly downloading and storing work-related data on their phones – unsecured mobile devices can be the weakest link in securing company data.

The obvious solution would be to encourage employees to never open work emails from their mobile devices but that would be impractical since email communication continues to see strong use in the business world.

In 2017, the total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will reach 269 billion, according to the Radicati Group – no doubt Zimbabweans will contribute several millions in email correspondence to this figure.

So, what practical measures can Zimbabwean employers and their employees take to secure mobile devices and protect sensitive company data that may be inadvertently stored on them?

The answer to securing mobile devices for businesses lies in an IT security solution that is being offered by the country’s leading internet service provider, ZOL Zimbabwe which offers ESET for Business package called ESET Endpoint Protection Standard (EEPS).

Any business can sign up for ESET Endpoint Protection whether they are a ZOL subscriber or not. A key feature of ESET Endpoint Protection Standard is that it secures mobile devices in the following four ways.

With ESET Endpoint Protection, your business can secure all company mobile devices as well as the personal mobile devices of employees who use their phones for professional purposes. If an employee’s mobile device is lost or stolen, ESET anti-theft will allow the employee (or other relevant personnel) to remotely lock their device and to remotely locate it and improve chances of recovering it. Anti-theft will also enable the employee to remotely wipe or erase all the data on the device to guard against possible breach in data security.

Real-time protection
ESET Endpoint Protection guarantees real-time protection for all applications, files and memory cards with the ESET NOD32 proactive technology optimized for mobile. ESET NOD32 will provide antivirus and antispyware protection to multiple devices that under a single license. With simple and straightforward licensing, any business (big or small) can mix and match platforms and devices according to its actual needs, making it a cost-effective solution.

Application Control
ESET Endpoint Protection also empowers IT administrators (or other relevant personnel) the option to monitor installed applications, block access or block defined applications, thereby providing comprehensive protection for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android Mobile devices.

Device Security
ESET Endpoint Protection will also give IT administrators (or other relevant personnel) several options to execute basic security policies across your company’s mobile device fleet. This makes ESET Endpoint Protection an easy to manage IT security solution because even without a dedicated IT staff, it is easy to deploy, manage and configure your security software through a single web console.

From $11 per month, the ESET for Business package offered by ZOL is a necessary IT security solution for every business.

The ESET Endpoint Protection provides the ultimate ease of use meaning those with basic tech skills can use the service without having to seek IT experts but should any business require a helping hand – ZOL provides in-house IT support in the form of its highly experienced ZOL Geeks team.

To get your IT secured by ESET, simply contact sales@zol.co.zw, or call 08677 111 111 or visit www.zol.co.zw to register for ESET online. Your business and your employees deserve mobile device security.

Source - MyZOL Staff Writer