Mobile devices are relied on daily in businesses. But, when your work laptop or phone is misplaced, issues may arise because of the sensitivity of the information they contain or have access to.
Have you lost your work laptop or phone, and are you scared of the consequences?
Your mind is likely already racing, thinking of your boss and how furious s/he will be at you. There are essential documents in your work device, and if hackers crack it open, it can seriously hurt the organization. After this happens, it’s often too late to salvage the situation.
According to a report, employees misplace about 10 million devices with essential data every year. Sadly, it is always hard to find out who is in possession of these devices. They might have been left in taxis or public places or stolen by a thief. In this type of situation, what is the first step to take?
The first thing you should do is breathe!
With mobile devices enabling work productivity, it is no surprise these items could be missing. Losing a device can happen to anyone, and you’re no exemption. Even though this is true, you must understand how to minimize risk when it happens.
The following tips will guide you to protect your information even when you lose your work laptop or phone.
Establish a policy in your organization
There are certain things you may not have control over. One of these things includes misplacing your work laptops and phones. Since it has been established that many devices go missing every year, you must pay attention to the threat it poses to the organization.
The first step is establishing a security plan that all your employees must adhere to. You must ensure security measures are placed on these devices as soon as this is addressed. Typical examples of this include software that wipes away data remotely, a tracker, and lastly, the use of a strong password. These will minimize the risk your business is exposed to when your work gadgets are missing.
All the security measures you’ve put in place will amount to nothing if your employees don’t tell you that their laptops or phones are missing.
Unfortunately, not all employees report the loss of a working gadget to their employer. It is even riskier to employ BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) at work. It will make it even more unlikely for your employees to report the loss immediately.
To avoid this type of situation, you must constantly reiterate the need to report the loss of a work device, mainly when it contains organizational data. Not only that, you must encourage them to make the report as soon as possible.
When your employee informs you that their work gadget has been stolen, swing into action immediately. The first thing to do in this situation is to activate any security device on it and delete the files altogether.
However, this is not wholly a guaranteed approach to protecting your information. This is so because some criminals will put the phone in airplane mode, making it impossible for you to delete important data. If you think the missing work gadget can compromise your client’s information, inform them as this will make them take appropriate steps. Also, it would be best if you informed your mobile provider. Alert them that your device has been stolen, as this will protect you from accumulating bills on your account.
Go through your policies
When you’re sure that your devices have been stolen, go through your security policies again to prevent any situation that will affect your reputation. A better solution will be to use cloud-based access instead of downloads to ensure that information is not made available on stolen devices in the near future.
Keep your applications up to date
Another way to mitigate the risk of losing your work laptop or smartphone is to keep all applications up to date, especially those connected to security, such as mobile antivirus. You may have the right software on work gadgets, but if you fail to update them, it won’t protect those devices.
Using an endpoint device management solution (such as Microsoft Intune) can help reduce the risk that a device won’t be updated in a timely manner. These apps also give you the ability to remotely lock and wipe a device, as well as remove the device’s access to your company accounts and assets.