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5 Ways to Secure Employee Mobile Access to Business Data

When it comes to enthusiastic use of mobile phones and apps, "The Kids" and their social media get a lot of flack. But in reality, it's the business world that has most emphatically adopted the new mobile lifestyle. From remote work at home to accessing cloud files while away on business trips, countless modern professionals now access secure and even confidential business documents through their mobile devices. Many companies have even developed their own proprietary mobile apps to help their on-the-go employees remain productive no matter where they are physically located.

But with great mobility comes great responsibility. Making your data more accessible to employees over wireless internet signals and on their mobile devices also makes it more accessible to people who know how to hack these channels. In fact, many business apps accidentally expose their data to friends and family who simply have occasional physical access to an employee's phone.

Today we're here to talk about the best ways to secure your mobile business data through a custom designed app. Or, possibly, through an existing app that already implements these methods.

1) Logins that Time Out

One of the least secure features of modern mobile apps is auto-login. It's convenient, it's easy, and it makes practical sense if your employees keep their phones safely on their person 100% of the time. But they don't. Phones and tablets get put down all the time. They are left in bags, on bedside tables, and sometimes even forgotten in cafes and airports meaning that almost anyone could pick up the phone and access the files that are supposed to be for employee's eyes only.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Your secure business app needs to time out login authorization. In fact, it should probably log employees out each time they close the app or turn off their device screen, ensuring that no one else will be able to access your secure data if the employee is not the next person to use their own device.

2) Visual Passwords

However, we also acknowledge that having to log back in every single time your employees wish to work on their mobile devices will quickly become an enormous pain. Not to mention, traditional passwords are pretty tedious to enter through a phone's soft-keyboard.

At the same time, it is also risky for your employees to use their own passwords (likely the same over multiple apps and accounts) in order to log into your secure business app. Visual passwords are the answer to both problems. A visual password is a special kind of login that does not involve numbers and letters.

A visual password can be selecting a specific sequence of photos, drawing lines between a grid of dots, or any number of almost mini-game like interactions. As long as only your employee knows the code, they can quickly log back into the app without the risk of a relative or stranger gaining the same easy access.

3) Data Encryption

If the data you make available on your business app is particularly desirable to hackers, then encryption is absolutely necessary. Many hackers, especially those who know how to manipulate local wifi networks, are able to pick data packets up in transit and read what is being sent to and from an employee's device to your servers. 

This is why end-to-end encryption is key. Everything inside the app should be encrypted so that viruses that get onto the device cannot steal your data. Everything that is sent or received should also be encrypted to prevent hacking in transit.

4) Virus Scan Feature

It's a sad fact that viruses and malware are now everywhere. Any ad, email, or website could be infected or provide an avenue for infection of your employee's mobile devices. And once their device is infected, usually without their knowledge, the device itself becomes a risk to your data and your network when it connects to office wifi.

An interesting solution to this is to include virus scanning and cleaning inside your business proprietary app. Rather than asking employees to submit their devices for scanning and cleaning by the IT team every few months, you can put the necessary cleaning tools right in the app they already have which will, incidentally, also keep their phones clean for personal use as well.

5) Tracking and Self Destruct

Finally, the ultimate form of business mobile security is the ability to wipe a device from a distance. If your employee's phone is stolen or lost, features within your app can make it possible to ensure no hacker can break their password or access the secure data stored inside. 

Start with a "where's my phone?" location tracking feature to help employees find missing devices. And if it's determined the device is unretrievable or in bad hands, a self-destruct feature can ensure that both your business data and their personal data cannot be accessed and abused.

Get More Security Tips From IronLogix

Mobile security is something that should be on every business' mind in today's highly mobile business environment. From secure document cloud storage to proprietary apps that allow employees to work at a distance, be certain that any apps your team uses to work are absolutely secure. For more network security tips for your business, contact us today!

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