Mobile Devices & Your Network
For most, smart phones & tablets (smart devices) are a necessary part of our lives…both personally and professionally and become our constant companions. So it stands to reason that we should be selective in who or what we chose to spend so much time with.
So, what should you look for in a new smart device to ensure that your needs are met and that your new companion will play nicely with the rest of your technology?
Here are some points to consider during the selection process:
- All smart devices are NOT created equally and it’s the applications that set them apart. When looking for a smart device, don’t be sold on all the bells and whistles packaged in a sleek sexy package. Instead plan out your needs. Do you need access into your business network? Remote apps connect differently. While some devices connect natively, others may require special applications on the server side ($$) to make it work. Even better (or worse if this is you), some smart devices might not run the applications needed AT ALL.
- Compatibility: Will they play nicely with your other devices and network or will you need to add other hardware and or software to make them work properly?
Now, being a dutiful companion means that we take our beloved devices to work with us and so do our employees. This leaves your company network exposed (and who really likes being exposed).
Here are some tips/points to remember to keep your network safe and secure when using mobile devices:
- Remote connections to the network: There are several apps that allow you to remotely connect to your business network – almost all of these allow you to save your username/password credentials. A lost phone or tablet makes it very EASY to access the network because most people allow the device to store these credentials. Never allow an application, website, browser, device to store your login information no matter how much simpler it will make your life.
- More on remote connections: It is important to also be aware that there are devices out there designed to steal and clone your network logins. What can you do about it? Set device passwords and make sure when you do connect to your network that you do it through a secure server. By doing so login credentials can be changed immediately once a device is lost or stolen. Swift action will minimize your risks.
- About those passwords: People I can’t stress this point enough. USE COMPLEX PASSWORDS. It’s your first line of defense. A complex password is a minimum of 8 characters in length and uses a combination of upper/lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
- Be wary of wifi. Accessing critical corporate data via unprotected means such as the public wifi is an issue waiting to happen. Again, only login through a secure server. To do this, utilize a VPN connection or a direct firewall pass through that requires login credentials.
- Siri on the iphone: Ask yourself…do you know more about technology and what it does more than IBM? Well IBM has banned Siri from their networks. Why? Because everything their employees say is sent to Apple and transcribed into text then stored for some unknown length of time and can be accessed by some unknown amount of people who have permission do unknown things with it. Additionally, in order for Siri to do a good job answering their question in the first place, it accesses contacts and other “unspecified” user data. This may not only compromise sensitive company intellectual property but put the company and/or the employee in violation of non-disclosure agreements. Are you okay with that? If you are…carry on then.
While mobile devices and nifty applications are increasingly important tools in our multi-tasking work/home life it is important to understand that just because the products are out there doesn’t mean that security holes that they create have been plugged yet.
Before you invest in any new smart device make certain that it will meet your needs, works well with others and take the steps necessary to protect yourself and your business when using it.
Copyright © 2012 Help Me!!® Tech Team, a division of HELP ME!!® Computers, LLC
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