If your company uses phones, laptops, or tablets, you are managing mobile devices. That means you should employ mobile device management best practices to protect your technology. Especially in a digital environment where working from home is more common than ever, it is essential to protect all the mobile devices your employees use, just as you would defend a computer within your office walls.
Having strict mobile device management best practices in place keeps business data secure. It should apply to all devices your employees access on the move or while connected to WiFi. If you work in healthcare or government sectors, which already has strict compliance protocols in place for managing mobile devices, it’s essential to be up to speed on what’s safe versus what’s not.
Thankfully, many guidelines with regular device management apply to mobile device management best practices. You’ll recognize several of them and may already use some within your business. Here are some tips we encourage our clients to follow to keep their business and employees safe.
Consider Rules for Managing Mobile Devices
Do you supply your employees with mobile phones? Or are they allowed to bring their own devices? Which phone brands will you pick? Which brands should you avoid? What will your employees use the mobile devices for, and how can they help your company? Outlining mobile device management best practices that answer all these questions and more is your first step towards security.
Mobile Device Management Best Practices
- Use Secure Passcodes
- Require Regular Updates
- Monitor App and Phone Settings
- Avoid Connecting to Insecure Networks
- Report Lost Devices Immediately
Use Secure Passcodes
When it comes to office devices, you always expect employees to implement passwords. It’s an important step in protecting the data on their technology. This is also true for mobile devices, which can be even more susceptible as your employees work on the go and in less secure environments. Here are some mobile device management best practices for passwords:
- Ensure that all employees use secure passwords that only they would know.
- Confirm every device has a code to input before signing in, especially for accessing phones and applications.
- Always use options like face authenticators and two-step authentication passwords when available.
Require Regular Updates
Hackers are typically well updated on any issues and holes within systems. If any of your devices or applications on said devices aren’t up to date, you’re leaving your entire company vulnerable to a cyber attack. Communicate with your team when a device has released a new update, so they are quicker to apply it to their devices. Also, encourage them to check on their devices themselves to see if anything needs updating.
Monitor Apps and Phone Settings
Just as it’s crucial to have a use-plan written out for all mobile devices, monitoring the apps employees are allowed to download is also essential. Unfortunately, there are many cases of hackers successfully entering devices through unsafe apps. Some easy ways to tell if they are safe or not include:
- Are they built by reputable companies?
- Do they have features like two-factor authentication set up so hackers can’t easily access information?
- Does the app have good reviews from reputable sources?
We also recommend limiting the number of apps your employees can access. Only if they follow the above guidelines and are helpful for your workflow should they be downloaded. Luckily, you can set up your mobile devices to block app downloads unless they are approved. That way, no employee can accidentally expose your company’s data. Speak with an IT specialist to develop a list of apps safe and appropriate for your workplace and employees.
Avoid Connecting to Insecure Networks
No matter where you are, connecting to an insecure network is never a good idea. Hackers can often break into computer systems simply by connecting to the same network, a phenomenon that often happens on public networks. One of the biggest tips digital security specialists follow is exclusively connecting to secure networks that only your employees can access. The same should be done for any mobile device, whether on the go or within your office building.
Consider investing in a VPN (virtual private network) to make this easier on you and your employees. No matter where your employees are, they will be able to access this network. The beauty of a VPN is that it is private and protected, meaning only your employees can sign in. It deflects hacking possibilities and ensures all mobile devices remain secure.
Report Lost Devices Immediately
Small mobile devices can be easier to misplace or lose, especially as your employees take them from place to place. Sometimes, it’s embarrassing for an employee to lose their device, especially if they’re worried about how a manager will react. Because of this fear, the employee might wait to report a lost device, perhaps hoping they can recover it themselves.
However, the time lost in that process is precious. Any second that passes is a second closer to your company’s information being successfully hacked and stolen. Encourage your employees to report stolen devices the moment they realize they are gone. The best way to do this is by reassuring them that they won’t be in trouble. Also, educate them on how important it is to protect potentially stolen data as soon as possible versus waiting.
Stay on Top of Managing Mobile Devices
As technology continues to advance, it’s essential to keep yourself and your entire company educated on best practices for managing mobile devices and more. Depending on the latest software and updates, these tips and tricks change often. What you’re learning now may not be applicable years in the future. Have a continued education plan set so that everyone who uses a mobile device with your company always has the latest best practices in mind.
How Can a Tool like Intune help?
When you’re managing multiple devices for hundreds of employees, it can be challenging to keep track of everything. However, it’s essential that you do. One slip-up can give a hacker just enough room to sneak in. That’s where a tool like Intune, available within the Azure portal, can assist you and your company. When you are physically unable to keep up with every device, Intune can. Above all, Intune protects your data and allows you to effortlessly follow best practices when it comes to mobile device management. Some additional benefits include:
- Intune can set up a new device for a new employee within minutes. Make set-up easier for yourself and anyone onboarding with your company.
- Intune can remotely wipe devices with the touch of a button. In the unfortunate case of a mobile device being stolen, lost, or hacked, you can, within seconds, prevent anyone from accessing your company’s data.
- Intune pulls a list of devices into a single dashboard, so you never lose track of anything your employees use inside and outside of work.
- Intune allows you to manage all applications on any mobile device.
Get Your Mobile Device Management Process Started
The process of managing mobile devices can be a bit overwhelming, no matter how essential. There are several steps to follow, and, with hundreds of employees, it’s easy to lose track of all those devices. Our number one tip for all businesses is to get started with mobile device management solutions through Integris’ managed cybersecurity services.
Our experts know mobile device management like the back of our hands. Even better, we’re always staying up to date with the latest best practices. We have the greatest tools and solutions and we’re able to do all the hard work to ensure your data remains secure. Want to see how we can make the process easier for you? Contact us today to get started with managed IT support.