Protect data on your employees’ devices
Devices, both company-owned and personal, are synchronised with the corporate network to gain access to official information. The business information shared includes data files, calendar entries, clients, prospects, colleagues and suppliers. This synchronisation enhances employee productivity as they can work on behalf of the company whenever and wherever they are. But this also means that employees have access to sensitive information that you could lose if they severed ties with your company. Data theft is another common problem that plagues companies, and businesses must protect their data against theft.
To avoid problems related to data security on employee devices, BYOD policies must be established and reinforced regularly. Here’s how you, as a business owner, can protect data on your employees’ devices.
The first step is to ensure that your employees are aware of what amounts to personal and sensitive information. They must also be aware of the obligations they must fulfil when in the position of sensitive data on their devices.
Ensure that the following procedures are included in the BYOD policy for employees:
- All BYOD devices must be protected with a strong password. All BYOD devices must also lock automatically.
- Ensure a ‘setting feature’ is enabled on the device to automatically delete data if an incorrect password is attempted several times. This will ensure that even if the phone is unlocked by a stranger, the device will be free of sensitive data. A similar setting can be activated to erase data if the device is not used for a certain period of time.
- Transfer data securely to prevent third-party access. Transfer data via an encrypted channel. Also, the data on your device must be encrypted at all times using reliable encryption software.
- When using a removable media (such as a USB stick) to transfer data, ensure that all data is erased from the removable media once data has been transferred.
- Use a secure Wi-Fi connection when accessing data. If you are forced to access data via an open network connection or Wi-Fi connection, first ensure the security of the connection.
- Do not download untrusted apps to your devices. Unverified/untrusted apps post a real threat to the security of the data held on your devices.
- Unless you are needed to hold onto information to comply with legal obligations, do not retain personal data on your devices for longer than necessary.
- Often, deleted data is stored in a device’s recycle bin or waste management system. When deleting data from your devices, make sure they are permanently deleted.
- Before you leave the organisation, you must delete all work-related data from your devices prior to your last working day.
To comply with the new data protection rules, businesses must use mobile device management software. The software allows devices to be configured and managed remotely. So, if a device that was protected with mobile device management software were to get lost, data can be wiped clean from it instantly and remotely. We at Totality Services help our IT Support clients in London how to protect data on your employees’ devices from loss.