How to protect your smartphone and tablet

Mobile & tablets

by Duncan MacRae| 12 February 2014

With Safer Internet Day taking place this week, CBR has teamed up with Lee Weiner, SVP of products and engineering at security management firm Rapid7, to bring you a series of useful guides that will help you stay safe online. Here, Lee looks at protecting mobile devices.

Mobility is a huge opportunity for companies, but with more and more users looking to connect their personal devices to the corporate network, it brings with it some significant security concerns. But ignoring BYOD won't make it go away. Why? Well, IDC estimates that last year over one billion smartphones were shipping. One billion!

So the chances are that even if you don't have an official BYOD policy someone, somewhere in your organisation is using a personal mobile device to connect to the network. It is critical that users understand the risks associated with their devices and appreciate that even though a device is personally owned, if it's accessing the corporate network, it represents a risk for the organisation and needs to be protected.

People using their own personal device blurs the line somewhat and they may not really understand the risks associated with this. Instead securing devices may seem like a time-consuming drag. So, below we've focused on three key areas of mobile risks and provided some helpful tips to help users navigate them easily.
 
What is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)?
These days the majority of people in the workplace own either a smartphone or a tablet device or both. Frequently these mobile devices are used for all aspects of your personal AND professional life, for example if you have your company email on your mobile phone, or take notes during meetings on your tablet. This is BYOD: mobile devices that you bought for your own use, through which you also access work-related data. 
 
It's easy to take this for granted and not consider the confidential nature of the information you're accessing on these devices, but even seemingly insignificant information may provide an attacker with an opportunity. Given that so much company information is either stored or accessible through our mobile devices, it is very important to keep these devices secure. The good news is that it's really not that hard to do. Here are a few simple steps that will help you protect your personal and company-confidential information from being accessed and exploited by strangers. 
 
On the next page we take a look at some of the most common threats and how you can protect yourselves against them.

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