Can a lost phone put you out of business?

May 16, 2012

What would happen if you lost your phone?  Businesses are being damaged daily by Internet security threats.  Bank accounts are being emptied, trade secrets are being lost, data is being destroyed.  One of the single largest threats to a company are the smart phones being carried in everyone's pocket.  These phones are a literal gateway into the heart of the business.  Lets look at the information that is available on most smart phones.

Email

This is number 1 on the security threats to your business.  One of the main reasons most people have smart devices is to access their email.  Email is the system most businesses use for basic communication.  Thus all your correspondences are available via your smart phone.

Online Banking

Many people have the app's that their bank provides installed on their phones.  These apps allow us to view account status, pay bills, and do various other things with our banks.

Company files

Through services like drop box, or VPN's we have made it easy to access all of the information on our company networks.  This information includes spreadsheets, Word Documents, and databases.

What can we do about securing our phones so that they aren't literally a Trojan horse directly into our most prized business assets?  We can start by password protecting our phone.  Forcing any would-be thief to enter a password into the phone in order to access the phone.  We can also password protect the applications that are on the phone.  I would also suggest for small businesses that they work with their IT provider to implement some sound security policy and security tracking and monitoring.  This will allow business owners and managers to manage these threats and proactively work to eliminate them.