Use Mobile Device Encryption to Secure Data in a Mobile World
Keep Your Company & Information Safe with this Innovative Solution
Once upon a time, our most precious assets were confidently protected behind layers of security defenses. Cash and jewelry were neatly stacked in a steel safe, which was bolted to the floor of the building. Customer lists and bank records were locked in a filing cabinet in an alarmed building and only accessible to the person who had the keys and the codes. And HR records were protected by the shelter of the impenetrable HR office door.
Then, digital electronics revolutionized the typical business office. Instead of accessing records from a lockable filing cabinet, employees now used computers to navigate a digital file system which contained an abundance of information – much of it considered to be confidential. The sensitive documents that were once tangible and secured behind a physical lock and key were now accessible in digital format and stored in the data network for end users to access.
Security controls such as passwords and file permissions were established to protect the confidential information in its new digital format. This was a time, however, when computing devices were stationary and did not typically leave the confines of the physical office. Employees would report to the office for work, log onto their computer, and only then – be granted with access to confidential information. The data that companies treasured most rarely – if ever – left the building.
The same statement cannot be made today. Mobile computing devices are pervasive. Employees are no longer tethered to a computer beneath their office desk. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones have provided employees with the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere. Mobile devices have also changed the corresponding security landscape too.
The Customer Lists, HR records and Bank Statements have now left the building.
It is incredibly easy for sensitive information to find its way onto an employee’s iPad, laptop, or smartphone. And once it is there, it is as mobile and portable as the device itself. The crown jewels of the organization are located on mobile devices that travel – anywhere. Think about where you have taken your laptop. On the subway? Through an airportterminal? On vacation?
There are two undeniable truths about mobile computing devices. People lose them, and people steal them.
The most common item stolen by thieves is cash; the second is electronic devices. So, what happens when the hotel maid swipes your tablet? Or when will you accidently leave your cell phone at the movie theater?
The answer to both questions is simple: someone now has a device that contains sensitive and confidential information. Many data breaches start with a stolen laptop or other mobile device. The stolen property is then compromised, and the thief has access to the confidential information.
There is no doubt that mobile computing devices pose a real security challenge. We have grown accustomed to the elasticity they provide, and it is unreasonable to think we will revert to using the stationary computer we once used at our desk. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are here to stay.
Human beings will continue to lose these devices, and criminals will continue to steal them. And although we can fight to minimize these occurrences through effective awareness training, the reality is that we will not be able to prevent them all together. You will leave the phone in the taxicab. And the burglar who smashed your car window will almost certainly take the iPad you left on the front seat with them.
A great security control that can be used to prevent an actual data breach throughout your Jersey City, NH, company is encryption. Mobile device encryption will transparently encrypt data on laptops and other mobile devices. This protects organizations from the loss or theft of mobile devices that contain confidential information.
If a lost or stolen mobile device is encrypted, then its new owner (the thief who took it from your car or movie theater attendant) will not be able to access the information that is stored on it. Sure, you will have to replace the laptop, but you can rest assured that your organization’s precious data is unreadable and unusable for any unauthorized person.
The foregoing was a guest blog post from Partners in Regulatory Compliance (PIRC). PIRC is a NYC cybersecurity consulting firm that provides innovative answers to the growing, complex need for cybersecurity in businesses facing strict regulatory compliance controls. By addressing the full range of digital and human threats to create a compliant, secure environment, PIRC ensures customers are meeting their professional, ethical, and legal commitment to protect the sensitive data they work with and store on behalf of their clients.