As scores of companies across various business sectors begin the process of digitalization, they are making the most of the resources available to them. For field service providers, this often means incorporating a technician’s own mobile device into their business strategies: bring-your-own-device, or BYOD. Not only is this a huge cost-savings for companies who are spared the full expense of costly mobile devices and calling and data plans, it also leads to increased productivity. Easier access to company data coupled with quick adoption thanks to the easy familiarity with mobile devices frees up more time to tackle the tasks at hand. However, one concern sometimes deters companies from adopting a BYOD strategy: security.
Field service management software providers like Coresystems adhere to the highest possible security standards, and continuously strive to stay abreast of potential improvements. However, one thing that the best FSM software can not control is how users secure their mobile devices. We have therefore provided some tips for ensuring mobile device security: both for private and corporate data.
Securing Your Private Mobile Data
One of the best tools for ensuring mobile security is awareness. Keep tabs on what is on your phone and what you upload to it. Being aware of these 8 things is a sure way to safeguard your data.
- Stick to tried and tested sources: Download apps from well-known sources like the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. All of these apps have been reviewed and released, which means they have undergone some checks for malware and any other malicious intent.
- Review app permissions: Every time you download an app, it requests access to certain data and/or mobile device features. Google Maps needs access to your location to help you navigate. Instagram needs access to your photos to upload them. However, apps might sometimes request access and data that is not necessary for the app to function. Do not simply give every app on your phone full access to everything. Carefully review app permissions and decide if it makes sense to provide access. There is no reason to provide a photo editing app with microphone access!
- Lock your phone: Mobile device users have a number of options for locking their devices: pin codes, fingertip scans, and facial recognition are making it more difficult for unwanted parties to gain access to mobile data. Though some of these methods can be outmaneuvered, they are certainly a deterrent. So be sure that you opt for at least one security feature. Should you choose a pin code, make sure that it can not be easily deduced. Better yet, use a randomly generated number that no one can guess. And if your phone does not automatically do so, limit the number of times the password can be entered before the phone locks down.
- Make sure you have a recovery plan: It is not impossible for you to lock yourself out of your own device. And the chances of losing or damaging it are even higher. Make sure you always have a backup of your data for such situations. It will save you a lot of time and frustration if you need to reset your device or set up new one.
- Keep up with security updates: Unless you are a mobile developer, there is no need to upgrade to the newest version of your mobile device as soon it is on the market. However, you should always install software and security updates when they are released. This will ensure that your mobile device is equipped to protect itself against any new potential security threats. It also ensures that your device runs optimally.
- Clean up your phone: That app you downloaded for your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Timbuktu… you probably do not need it anymore. Maintain an overview of what apps are stored on your phone. If you are not using them, delete them. This will help you keep track of what apps are accessing your information. On iPhone you can even activate the “Offload Unused Apps” function. This lets your device delete apps you are not using while maintaining the data and documents. You can easily reactivate the app and information by simply tapping on it and re-downloading it to your device.
- Encrypt your data: When you activate your Passcode on your iPhone your data is automatically encrypted. It is only available to anyone who can unlock the phone. Devices running the latest version of Android software will be protected with a new secure hardware module Strongbox Keymaster feature. It not only has its own CPU and secure storage, it also integrates a random-number generator.
- Know what your phone is up to: On iPhones, apps not in use do not continue running in the background. They shift to standby. However, on Android devices you are able to review and control what apps are running in the background on your device. Check the Processes under Developer Options in your Settings to see what apps are running. If there is no reason for them to be running, you can manually stop them.
In our next blog of Ahmed Warreth, our Mobile Product Manager, writes about why Field Service Organisations should consider implementing a BYOD Policy.