Skip to Content

Get Serious About Mobile Security

What information do you have stored on your cell phone and tablet? Perhaps some personal phone numbers and addresses? Business leads? Maybe even a few PIN numbers and passwords? Now, what would happen if your tablet ended up in someone else's hands? Or what if a virus drained your phone's battery and suddenly you couldn't be reached?

Think of all the employees at your company. How much business information are they carrying around on their devices? Individuals and businesses focus a lot of energy on securing our laptops and desktops, but don't forget about your mobile devices. You won't know how much you value them until they're gone or used maliciously.

When it comes to security, most mobile devices are a target waiting to be attacked. That's the basic conclusion of a report to Congress on the status of the security of mobile devices last fall by watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office. Mobile device vulnerabilities include lack of password use, unencrypted wireless use, sensitive transactions performed without two-factor authentication, malware, and outdated operating systems.

Mobilesec2What can be done to protect your data from these vulnerabilities? Try these suggestions from this article by Michael Cooney for PCWorld:

  • Configure your devices to require passwords or PINs to gain access.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for sensitive transactions.
  • Install antimalware protection.
  • Install a firewall.
  • Install security updates.
  • Remotely disable lost or stolen devices.
  • Enable encryption for data stored on the device or its memory card.
  • Enable whitelisting for apps.

What can you do specifically within your company?

  • Establish a mobile device security policy that determines how your organization treats mobile devices, whether they are issued by the organization or owned by individuals.
  • Provide mobile device security training to help ensure that mobile devices are configured, operated, and used in a secure and appropriate manner.
  • Establish a deployment plan.
  • Perform risk assessments.
  • Implement configuration control and management.

Some commonly-used apps may be a bad idea to use for business purposes. According to this article from Inc. by John Brandon, you might reconsider using the following apps for business:

Dropbox: Up to 75 percent of small companies have stored sensitive business documents (say, financials) on Dropbox and similar cloud storage sites. Try an app like like which has the benefits of the cloud for easy access, but runs on your own server.

Skype: It is too easy for hackers to access your Skype account and access your business contacts. Try a more secure phone gateway like eVoice that is meant for business, or use Skype for Business.

TurboTax: Security expert Steven Aeillo says many tax programs do not use a challenge-response system (such as requiring a secutiry question or image identification).  In addition, he says these programs can generate a PDF of your financials, which can be easily stolen. Aeillo dislikes that Mint still does not use two-factor authentication to gain access. Its popularity also makes Mint a prime hacking target. Consider a tool like, which uses strong 256-bit SSL security.

Apple Siri: When you ask for directions to a meeting with a new prospect or investor, Apple stores the digital audio file on its secure servers. Apple retains the files for up to two years, and it's not clear how secure the clips remain. You can't remove the clips or add extra security protections. Should that data fall into the wrong hands, you have no control over it.

Mailbox App: This iOS email app does not use two-factor authentication. A hacker just needs access to your email to request password reset, and once he has access to email he can gain control over many other services. Try Google Apps for Business instead.

Connect with Tribute on Social Media

Talk with Tribute

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Stay up to date on the latest industry trends & learn more about industrial distribution & Tribute’s ERP software solutions. Check out our blog today!