Having unregulated apps on a mobile device used for business is a little like leaving your office door unlocked at night.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 26, 2013
With the introduction of an iPhone-formatted version of Microsoft’s popular Office software earlier this month, busy professionals have even more access to sensitive work documents on the go—and even more opportunities to expose sensitive and confidential customer data to hackers. For IT professionals and business owners who allow employees to conduct work from personal devices, these increased exposures could mean a significant increase in potential cyber liability.
While Office is the most recent mobile app drawing attention from cyber security experts, it is by no means the only one commonly used by small businesses. Those who rely on mobile devices for work frequently download non-proprietary apps (a practice called BYOA, for bring your own app) to facilitate cloud storage, video conferencing, navigation, and expense tracking. But TechInsurance, the nation’s leading online insurance agency for small IT and technology businesses, warns that IT professionals need to be vigilant about monitoring their company’s use of non-proprietary apps, which can introduce security breaches to devices used for work.
Viruses targeted specifically to tablets have already been documented, and analysts predict that more and more malware written specifically for mobile devices will crop up in the coming years. “Having unregulated apps on a mobile device used for business is a little like leaving your office door unlocked at night,” said Ted Devine, CEO of TechInsurance. “Mobile devices can be tremendously helpful for productivity, but they can also make sensitive customer information more vulnerable than ever.”
TechInsurance notes that small IT businesses and IT consultants can manage their own risk and advise clients to manage theirs by implementing the following security procedures for mobile devices used for work purposes:
- Educate employees about the risks that BYOA presents. Make sure anyone who uses a mobile device for work is aware of the risk of viruses from downloaded apps. Some people mistakenly believe that they cannot get viruses on smartphones or tablets, and exercise less caution when downloading on these devices.
- Implement and enforce an app policy for all mobile devices. IT teams should establish protocol for permitting or disallowing specific mobile applications that could threaten privacy by introducing viruses or malware.
- Pay for antivirus software or apps for employees’ mobile work devices. If employees are using personal devices for work, business owners should consider paying for anti-virus applications that keep those devices secure. This relatively small investment can prevent costly security breaches.
- Establish a policy for ensuring that employees download updates regularly. Most mobile apps and software programs release regular updates to address security and functionality issues. Business owners should require employees to implement updates as they become available.
- Invest in third-party Cyber Liability Insurance to cover the costs of any data breaches that occur. If, despite these security measures, a data breach occurs, business owners can protect their finances by maintaining a Cyber Liability policy that provides financial support to allow a firm to recover.
TechInsurance is the nation’s leading online insurance agent for small and micro businesses (those with 10 or fewer employees). Since its launch in 1997, TechInsurance has provided a convenient online destination where IT and technology consultants, contractors, and business owners can find essential liability insurance coverage from top-rated providers by completing an application process that takes only a matter of minutes. In addition to offering third-party Cyber Liability Insurance policies, TechInsurance offers General Liability, Property, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance. For more details about TechInsurance, visit the company’s website at http://www.techinsurance.com.