It is becoming fairly common these days for businesses to have employees working from remote locations including home, hotel rooms, airport lounges and even on trains and coaches! This has been made possible thanks to the latest mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops all of which can now harness the same power as a desktop computer. Offices are fast being obsolete! Companies all over the world are discovering that virtual offices are the way forward in terms of reducing costs and boosting employee efficiency.
With all of the benefits virtual offices bring, it is easy to forget the disadvantages that come with the new ‘work anywhere’ concept. The unfortunate consequence of a virtual office is that there is an increased risk of exposing business elated files to viruses, hacking attempts, and even theft when these files are accessed on mobile devices. Any attack on business data can be costly, not to mention disruptive to your work. This means that it is very important to protect against these attacks being focused on virtual offices.
There are plenty of steps which can be taken to improve security in relation to mobile devices. Here are five tips for making sure that your remote employees are protected when dealing with your business data.
Choose a great security software package – It is important to invest in a good quality security system that is designed especially for mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are particularly vulnerable to viruses, malware, as it can not only be downloaded through emails, apps and web browsing, but it can also be transmitted wirelessly to these devices when they are connected to a public wifi connection.
Be sure to regularly update all software packages and applications – It is important to ensure that the devices used to access sensitive data are running the most current versions of the relevant software and operating systems. Employees should not be trusted to perform these updates, as they are likely to forget. Instead you should set all company owned devices to search for relevant updates automatically.
Encrypt your data and install data wiping capabilities on all company smartphones – All company owned smartphones should have software installed which will encrypt all data and which can either lock or wipe the smartphone on a remote command in the event of it being lost or stolen. This will ensure that sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands if the phone is lost or stolen. Replacing the device may be necessary, but at least you know that the data is safe.
Create a secure storage site for your data – There are many services available which will allow you to create a secure backup in the cloud. This allows employees to work from anywhere while keeping the data secured.
Consider implementing cell phone tracking software – Not only can mobile phone monitoring offer services such as GPS locations and remote wipe commands which can be used when a phone is lost, but they will also allow you to monitor employees to see if they are adhering to security protocols, or if they are not actually working when they should be! No longer will the old saying ‘out of sight out of mind’ apply as you will know what they are up to at all times.
All this may sound expensive, but it is far more cost effective than you might think and losing your data could be more expensive if it ever happens. This is your business and there is no point in taking any chances with security if you are going to take advantage of virtual offices.