Today, cell phones and tablets are nearly as powerful and capable as personal computers.  They have allowed so much added functionality when it comes to being able to work remotely and still stay connected to our professional lives.   This can be for better or worse…we are kind of married to our technology after all.

Mobile devices are used across every stage of our business, from communication capabilities, line of business systems, special software applications, and even informational resources.  The benefits of having such powerful technology at our fingertips are seemingly endless.  However, there are also increased security risks.

So, here are the 8 biggest security risks for using mobile devices in your business.

Risk #1 The People In Your Business

Even the most diligent members of your organization make mistakes!  Unintentional mistakes can have devastating consequences.  By mistakenly clicking on a phishing email, downloading a malicious app, or accessing confidential company files on their device, employees (and bosses!) can make a simple error and unwittingly take down your entire company!

Risk #2 Data Leakage

There are many apps that can see AND transmit data – even company data.  Also, there is the possibility of user errors leaking company data by uploading information to a public drive, copying confidential information, or even sending an email to an incorrect person.

Risk #3 Social Engineering

A social engineering attack is when you try to manipulate a human target into doing something that allows you into their network or their systems.  Using mobile devices for business email is a greater risk of falling victim to a phishing attack because mobile email only usually shows the name of the person, not the full email address.  There’s also the risk of spoofed text messages and malicious messages through various messaging apps.

Risk #4 Risks Of Other Wifi Networks

When you connect any mobile device (laptops included!) to a public wifi network, others can potentially see any data which is not encrypted.  A hacker can also create an ‘imposter’ wifi network and locally overpower a real network thus connecting you to the hacker’s network.  Are you REALLY connecting to the hotel wifi, or the hacker’s fake wifi with the same name?

Risk #5 Out Of Date Devices

Manufacturers often don’t update their devices in a timely or effective manner.  Also, consumers are notorious for not updating their devices regularly.  All of these factors increase security risks because routinely updating mobile devices is critical to address known vulnerabilities.

Risk #6 Mixing Corporate & Personal Data

How simple would it be to mistakenly (or purposefully) upload a business file to a Google drive or to another type of cloud sharing app from your work computer to get access on your mobile device? This is a HUGE security risk! Even the simple act of just having corporate and personal data on a personal mobile device can be a recipe for disaster because we all make mistakes.

Risk #7 Poor Password Hygiene

Some of us don’t have a passcode or a PIN on the lock screen of our mobile device. This is absolutely critical for security! Also, make sure that you DON’T use the same passwords for your personal and work accounts. And, make sure you don’t use the same username and password in multiple places. Lastly, at every possible chance, use multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) to provide an added layer of security.

Risk #8 Physical Data Breaches

Imagine if you left your phone or tablet somewhere. Now, imagine if you didn’t have any lock screen security or encryption for your device – any stranger would have access to ALL the information on your device, including your company files and email. In a study from Ponemon – 35% of professionals indicated their employer had no mandated security for mobile devices in place – about half of those people surveyed had no password, PIN, or biometric security guarding their devices and had no encryption in place.

So, how do you protect yourself and your business?

With layers of security. There is no one “magic bullet” that will cover all the bases. Just like there’s no one single way that hackers can steal your company data, there’s no single cybersecurity measure which can keep your business protected.

The most important step is to keep yourself educated to the cybersecurity risks facing your business! I’ve taken the time to assemble over 50 quick-read cybersecurity tips that are packed with unique and up-to-date real-world solutions that keep you one step ahead of the bad guys.

We offer this service FREE to business owners (and employees) who are concerned about cyberattacks and data breaches. And while we cannot ever guarantee you won’t be breached, the security secrets you get WILL significantly reduce your risk.