How to prevent unauthorized data access from lost or stolen business smartphones

Posted by Stefanie Kober Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:48:00 GMT

Today, smartphones are designed for both work and play – in fact, smartphones are a necessary technology used by organizations to keep employees connected and productive. Although BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a dominant trend amongst employees, this policy poses a significant security threat.
Approximately 16 percent and 17 percent of iPhone and Android owners, respectively, state that an unauthorized person has at some time accessed their phone in a manner that invaded their privacy, according to a study by The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
When confidential business information is stored on smartphones, enterprises should ensure that employees take the necessary precautions to safeguard sensitive information contained there. Nonetheless, unauthorized persons can still physically come into possession of a mobile phone.

Consequences of lost or stolen smartphones

A 2011 study by Ponemon Institute entitled “The Lost Smartphone Problem” examined how many employees lose their smartphone or have it stolen, and the consequences of these lost devices to the organizations. Around 4.3 percent of all smartphones issued to or used by employees are lost or stolen every year, with an insignificant amount recovered. Approximately 60 percent of lost or stolen smartphones are believed to contain sensitive and confidential information; however, more than half (57 percent) of lost smartphones were not protected with mobile security features.
As expected, lost or stolen smartphones prove costly to businesses and their employees. Lost data can have significant financial consequences for businesses, which outweighs the replacement cost of the mobile phone itself. A lost or stolen smartphone permits unauthorized access to the device, the organization’s data and call logs.

Using business smartphones safely

A more viable option for accessing company data in the corporate network would be for data to not be downloaded to the smartphone at any time. This is a distinguishing characteristic of HOBLink Mobile – This feature makes HOBLink Mobile easy-to-use, extremely secure and, through the optimization of bandwidth usage, high performance. Since all data remain completely and securely located in the central corporate network with no data being uploaded to the iPhone, data can be lost or stolen if the iPhone is lost,
Apart from improved security, HOBLink Mobile is also advantageous because data volumes, which are much larger than the mobile device itself could process, can be worked with. Furthermore, it requires no large amount of memory on the mobile device.

Businesses should seek to establish data protection solutions for smartphones in order to prevent abuse or misuse of the confidential information on the device in the case of theft or loss of the device. Indeed, “better safe than sorry” is a good phrase to abide by for preventing the costly consequences of lost data assets.

Readers, have you protected your smartphone from unauthorized data access? Please share in the comments below.

Author: Hazel Farrugia

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