Mobile devices are now a central part of workplace communications. They allow Los Angeles RIAs to interact with clients and grow the firm from anywhere.
However, the convenience and flexibility are also risky because smartphones and tablets can compromise network security.
What if a phone is stolen or hacked? A mobile device policy needs to address these potential threats.
This article contains three mobile device policy tips that will help protect both corporate- and employee-owned phones and tablets without compromising the freedom that makes them so valuable to the business.
1. Have a Written Policy in Place
When it comes to mobile management and data security, all firms need to publish and distribute an official policy, so there is no ambiguity about any aspect. Items covered should include the following:
- Acceptable use or the business purposes for using the handheld device, as well as any limitations
- Devices allowed, as well as approved OS versions for each
- Ownership as in who owns the data on the device
- Protocols for reporting lost or stolen devices
- Mandatory password protection for sensitive information
- Consequences of policy abuse
- Termination or what happens to the data in the event that an RIA’s employment ends
All employees should confirm receipt of the mobile device policy in writing.
2. Invest in Mobile Security Software
Mobile devices, especially those with the Android OS, can be infected with malware that sends its contents to a foreign IP or makes in-app purchases. For RIAs, this type of exposure can spell disaster, so a complete mobile security platform is mandatory.
- Password Protection: The first line of defense on a mobile device is a locking mechanism such as a PIN or password. A locked phone will deter many data thieves.
- Malware Protection: Unlike native applications that have built-in protection against malware on mobile devices, web interfaces are susceptible to SQL injection and other information-stealing attacks. All smartphones and tablets should, therefore, have company-approved malware protection installed.
- Remote Wipe: The ability to delete sensitive data from a distance is crucial, as handheld devices can be lost easily or stolen. This can be accomplished by installing approved security software or establishing a mobile device management platform.
3. Use a Mobile Device Management Solution
Enterprise-level mobile device management solutions include security features in their service bundles. If a business is using a CRM application that all employees need access to, the app can be whitelisted and “pushed” onto each person’s mobile device.
Some services offer the option of restricting what can be downloaded to a device and limiting app installs to company-approved software.
Los Angeles RIAs face many security challenges because of sophisticated data thieves and hackers. The good news is that by establishing a mobile device policy to address these dangers, investment firms will have a solid line of defense.
Has your firm established a mobile device policy yet? If not, are you concerned? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.