Phones: A New Security Issue

Not very long ago, smart phones were rare. Businesses purchased smartphones for very few employees and those that had them were generally business owners. Today, we are seeing that smartphones are being purchased for everyone in the company. The other trend is for employees to connect their personal smartphone to their employers network.

What’s a smartphone? They are phones that do more than allow you to answer a call. Think iPhone, Windows Phone, Android and Blackberry. iPads also fall into this category.

These phones collect email, contact lists and files from your network and stores them. This introduces a security problem because these devices are holding your critical data.

If you have a small business server then we have a solution. We can wipe these devices of ALL data and configuration settings. This is a great feature and it can protect your data from leaking in the event the phone is stolen, lost or the employee leaves employment. We can prevent that data from getting into the wrong hands.

This is great for business owned devices. But there are some pitfalls that need to be planned for in advance. If we wipe the phone:

  • Any personal email will also be deleted
  • Music and video is deleted
  • Everything is deleted

Now, what if the employee owns the phone and the phone has been connected to your network? Can you legally protect your data? Can we wipe it clean?

Both of these scenarios are human resources issues and require an acceptable use policy. You should consider having your employees sign an acceptable use policy that allows you to wipe any device connected to your network whether is it owned by the employee or the business. Employees that desire to have a connected device need to be forewarned that should it be lost, stolen or when they leave your employment that the device will be wiped clean.

It is this document that will allow us to use the remote wipe tool to protect your data that is now living on mobile devices outside of your office.

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