Cyber security should be a top concern for business owners. We’ve delved into why small businesses should fear data breaches as much as big companies and the top 3 reasons why a hacker would target your business website.
In the spirit of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, today we’re going to examine results of a “Bring Your Own Device” survey conducted earlier this year by IT governance, risk, and compliance firm Coalfire.
BYOD Survey Highlight
Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is a term used for businesses that allow employees to use their personal computers and cell phones for work.
The Coalfire team poll questioned 400 people across industries unrelated to IT in North America asking participants about their company’s BYOD policies.
“[M]ore than half (of the 84 percent of respondents who use the same mobile device for personal use and work) report their companies have NO mobile device usage policy set up.”
Just as a lack of an exit plan will leave business owners out in the cold, so will a lack of a mobile device policy.
Mike Weber, managing director of Coalfire Labs, expressed astonishment at the high number of companies that weren’t enforcing “simple defenses” to protect themselves.
Other Notable Information
- 49 percent of respondents said that their IT department has not discussed mobile or cyber security with them.
- 37 percent said their companies didn’t have a mobile device policy in place, while 26 percent said they weren’t sure.
- 47 percent of users lack a password on smartphone that access secure business data.
How You Can Protect Your Business
Obviously there is room for improvement within many companies.
Coalfire recommends in the BYOD report that you:
- Establish a mobile device policy. But don’t stop there, you must discuss it with employees and follow up to make sure they are abiding by it.
- Enforce strong password requirements and permissions. Even if employees resist, you must require strong passwords. Consider this: If the competition gets their hands on proprietary information, then your company could go out of business. Without a company, your employees wouldn’t have jobs.
- “Trust but verify.” Accidents will happen, and sometimes people make bad decisions. Being proactive with testing and running through your emergency procedures from time to time will help you out immensely when the occasion actually occurs.
One other thing that will help:
- Open the lines of communication with employees. Discuss what could happen to the company if the company website or email system was breached. Explain how the consequences affect employees. Explain how easy it is for someone to access company emails if employees don’t have a passcode on their smartphone –your staff probably isn’t thinking about their phones in the context of business risk.
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