It only takes a second for a burglar to slip into a store in the middle of the night and load up on cash, electronics, and other valuables. The same is true for cyber-criminals looking to sneak into your mobile devices to access the data on your network.

A hacker can literally access your entire company through just one smartphone, tablet or laptop.  You need to make sure that all of your mobile devices are protected from threats that could put your entire company at risk.

In just the past year, approximately 60 percent of small and mid-size businesses experienced a cyber-attack1. Fortunately not all of those were successful. However, the average cost of recovery for a small business from a successful intrusion is between $250,000 and $1.5 million2.  Are you willing to take the chance by not protecting your mobile devices?

If a hacker gains access to your company’s network, they could destroy or steal all of your customer data, damage your sales and production capabilities, and create negative publicity that you were breached leaving potential customers wondering if it’s safe to do business with you.  Some companies simply can’t afford those losses and are forced out of business.

What to look for in mobile security

When looking for mobile security for your devices, you need to make sure whatever you choose can do the following.

  1. Protect: Provide a way to manage all of your devices so you can establish security guidelines and monitor activity from one place.
  2. Detect: Detect the threat before it does any damage, assess the risk, and alert you that there is a risk
  3. Remediate: Tell you how to protect your devices from the risk

There are tools available on the market today that can provide you with a combination of solutions to give you the greatest level of protection. Let’s look at two of these options and how they fit into a well-rounded mobile security regime.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) tools

These tools provide you with a way to keep track of, manage, and secure your mobile devices and the applications running on them.

With an MDM or UEM solution, you know where the devices are, who is using them, and if they should be lost or stolen, you can remotely lock them or erase their data. Additional security tools allow you to closely manage the user policies, ensure that data encryption is enforced, require passcodes, block access to unapproved apps, and more.

Mobile Threat Detection (MTD) tools

These solutions detect and prevent threats through sophisticated techniques that leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral analysis. They analyze a broad range of indicators that help them identify potentially harmful activity, and then move to block that threat from going any further.

MTD protects the device to reduce the risk of data being stolen through the device, paying close attention to any vulnerabilities or security misconfigurations, library modifications, attempts to escalate privileges, and other markers of intrusion. They also monitor the wireless network traffic for threats and apply code analysis and other methods to identify malware and similar threats.

As you research options to provide you with mobile security, it’s also important to be aware of where you may be putting your business data at risk as well.

Never trust public Wi-Fi

One of the greatest threats to your data is when you access public Wi-Fi.  Yes, it’s convenient to access “free” Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, but very dangerous for your business. There are serious security risks involved even when using password-protected Wi-Fi.

Hackers have many ways to entrap a Wi-Fi user, from monitoring online activities to bogus websites and phony networks that deceive a user into thinking they’re on the correct network when they aren’t. And of course, once a hacker gets into a device, their next step is to get into your network and do you harm. To protect your users at all times and ensure secure Wi-Fi, a smart virtual private network (VPN) solution is required.

Prepare now – before it’s too late

Hackers are refining their skills and using increasingly sophisticated means of attack with each passing day. The risk of encountering malware, ransomware, email phishing attacks, compromised apps, and other dangerous threats is growing faster than you can imagine.

Most small to medium-sized companies make the mistake of thinking they are protected with basic security options available on their phones. But basic coverage means you have gaps.  And when it comes to business data, you need a far more comprehensive strategy or you could quite literally be risking the security of your entire company. Combining MDM and MTD tools into a broad and all-encompassing security strategy and providing employees with secure Wi-Fi access will provide the best mobile security and cyber protection possible for your devices, your networks, your data, and your business.

22018 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium Size Businesses report (Ponemon/Keeper Security)