So, you’ve embarked on the nail-biting challenge that is “Bring Your Own Device.” A data breach is imminent, right? Not necessarily.
Though data security is one of the main arguments against a BYOD plan, simple security apps can actually go a long way toward protecting your company’s important data.
And there’s a good chance most of your employees who use their own smartphones or tablets for work have already implemented these steps.
Use your phone’s own security locks
Both Android and iPhone devices come with the options of locking your device with a 4-digit-pin. Android takes it a step further, as well, allowing for alphanumeric passwords, numbers longer than 4 digits, and even a “connect-the-dots” type of security lock that requires users to trace a pre-set pattern with their fingers.
There is absolutely no cost to using these features — it’s simply a matter of informing your employees that these features exist if they don’t know already. Implementing this as a “requirement” for a BYOD policy is a no-brainer.
All-in-one security suites
There are many apps for both Android and iPhone that don’t just provide one feature, but a whole “security suite” of features.
- Lookout. The free version of this app will perform regularly scheduled virus checks, backup contact lists, and locate a lost or missing phone on a Google map and sound an alarm to aid you in finding it. The premium version ($3/month; $30/year) offers the ability to remotely lock and wipe data from a lost or stolen phone while backing up and restoring call history and data.
- Norton Mobile Security. For $10 less per year, Norton offers many of the same features Lookout has and a few added extra layers of security. Phones with front-facing cameras can be programmed to take pictures of whoever is in front of the device and upload them to Norton’s site. It can also identify trusted contacts who recover your phone and send them an unlock code.
- Avast! Mobile Security. Though currently only available on Android, this app is completely free and allows users to control their phone in the event of theft, via a web portal on Avast’s website or by way of SMS text messaging. According to the site, there are loose plans to release a version for the iPhone but nothing concrete yet.
What other ways of protecting data does your company employ? Is it important for your employees to download security apps for their phones? Let us know in the comments.