Man on street looking at his mobile phone Mobile devices have changed, not only the way we interact with our family and friends, but the way we work, and even the way we pay for things.

These days you can do everything from one device, even simultaneously if your heart so desires. And while staying current with technological advancements is great for business, it also opens your organisation up to extra risks that you need to proactively protect against.

Fight mobile hacking

With the number of smartphone users expected to reach over five billion by 2019, you can expect your employees will be connected to their work on either their personal or business devices. Here are six tips to ensure personal and organisational data stays secure on any device.

  1. Keep software and apps up to date
    Configure devices to automatically download app updates to ensure you always have the latest version of the software. This will ensure the security software is always current, thus protecting the device against the latest cyber threats.
  2. Use cloud-based tools
    Cloud-based tools will give you and your employees access to your data anytime, anywhere, which is helpful for remote working. It will also mean you are protected with the latest software and patches.
  3. Be weary of public Wi-Fi
    We all love free Wi-Fi, but it comes with several risks. A connection can be intercepted by someone else on the network – allowing them access to the data on the mobile device. You can be at risk of a ‘man in the middle’ attack – where a hacker relays and/or alters information between the device and what your accessing on the Wi-Fi. An especially nasty person could even spoof an entire hotspot if the mood strikes them. If you or your employees feel like they need to use public Wi-Fi, ensure you use it via a strong VPN.
  4. Charge your device in a trusted place
    A USB charging cord can exchange data. When you’re attached to an unknown power source, such as an airport or train, it could potentially let someone connect to your phone and steal important data, as well as leaving nasty things on your device. Make sure you always charge in a secure, trusted place, such as your home.
  5. Set up a password
    Perhaps the most obvious, but a tricky password or biometric login will make your phone difficult to open. The harder the mobile device is to break into, the less likely someone will make the effort to do so. It also goes without saying that you should always lock a mobile device when you’re done with it.
  6. Be aware of what you install
    Apps make our lives simpler and more productive. However, apps can ask for permissions to access various things on your phone, such as your camera, microphone, and your files. These can be necessary, but they can make you more vulnerable to hacking. Be aware of what your apps are asking to access and decide if it’s worth using that app.

Boost device security

If you have staff who use their phones or other mobile devices to access business data, it will become a major weak link in your security unless you put the proper protection in place. Enterprise Mobility + Security provides the tools your organisation needs. It empowers your employees to be mobile and productive without complicated set up or IT management.

On top of that, use multi-factor authentication on any device that has access to business data and encourage IT protocols of what to do when a device goes missing or is compromised, such as who to contact. Enable the ability for your organisation to be able to remotely wipe any business device of its data. Enterprise Mobility + Security lets IT configure different users and devices with policies and certificates to make sure the right people have the right access.

Use mobile payments safely

In 2017, in-store mobile payments topped £975 million, with around 59 percent of consumers taking advantage of this new form of easy payment.

You may already have jumped onto mobile payments as a business owner and a consumer, or you may be thinking about it, but it’s vitally important you ensure you have security to protect yourself from any vulnerabilities.

Make sure you have up to date technology

To do mobile payments, you’ll need to have updated POS systems. Not only will this mean a faster checkout process, but you’ll be less vulnerable than when using legacy software which may no longer be supported with the latest security updates. POS breaches are one of the most common types of cyber-attacks, according to a 2016 report.

This is a great benefit as not only will your POS be faster and safer, but NFC payments are extra secure for customers. EMV chip cards are more secure than cards with magnetic strips, making it almost impossible for cyber criminals to copy card data. Payments made on the phone use tokenisation, meaning the actual card number is never transmitted, only random numbers.

Make sure you enable automatic updates on your software, so you will always have the latest in security fixes, patches, and improvements.

Have total control of your data.

Know who has access to it, and control what they can and can’t see. Have thorough access controls so you have the ability to see who can access your data and make sure you keep updating it when required (i.e. when an employee or contractor’s situation changes).

Get rich insights into the latest threats. Have technology that will automatically update you on the latest threats, track phishing and malware campaigns aimed at your customers, and searches for threat indicators from user reports and other sources.

Stay one step ahead of cyber threats with these tips to ensure you, your employees, and your customers stay safe.

What to do next

Find out how Microsoft 365 Business can help keep your business secure
Find the weak links in your security
Why being secure is good for business
Explore our GDPR resources