IT Consulting in a Wireless World – Protecting Your Network and Wireless Devices
Mobile devices have greatly expanded the ability for businesspeople of all kinds to get their work done while on the road. While telephones were originally limited to the office, hotel room and phone booth, road warriors from every industry are now free to conduct business anywhere a mobile signal is available. Mobile devices go beyond that of traditional cell phone though, now combining telephony with PDA features. In fact, today’s mobile devices and smartphones possess more power than the desktop PCs of just a few years ago, allowing people on-the-go the ability to communicate and perform computing tasks practically anywhere.
Such freedom comes at a tremendous cost, however, as mobile devices open up small businesses to risks that traditional telecommunication devices never did. A mobile phone from just a decade or two ago was simply a portable telephone and nothing more. Telephone contacts may have been compromised due to loss or theft but was nothing worse than losing a Rolodex or Day Runner. PDAs introduced greater risks of data loss but still lacked the bandwidth and storage capacity that today’s modern devices possess. Today’s wireless devices, with their high storage capacities and high-speed networking features give hackers and thieves an easy route into your company network.
In many ways, today’s modern mobile devices are no different than typical desktops and laptops businesspeople have been using for years. Smartphones, tablets PCs and netbooks all contain the same computing and communication features a typical laptop would have, yet are much more susceptible to loss or theft. Whereas a laptop may be locked down to avoid theft, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are not typically secured to any physical location. Their smaller sizes make them inherently more vulnerable to loss and theft as well. While the outright replacement value for a high-end smartphone may be difficult to manage, this is not the worst part of the problem.
The real problem has to do with the vulnerability one’s small business network is susceptible to when the data on the device falls into the wrong hands. Many people fail to treat mobile devices as tiny computers even though that is essentially what they are. Today people have no problems password protecting their desktops and notebooks, yet significantly fewer see towards proper mobile device protection.
An insecure tablet PC or smartphone enables hackers and thieves the ability to access your email, networking resources and other sensitive data just like a traditional computer can. Using passwords that are difficult to guess is critical. While password protection is a start, it is important to take other precautions such as using quality security software to protect one’s mobile devices from viruses and other malware.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many issues to consider when developing a plan for complete, comprehensive network security. Other quality tips for protecting your IT assets can be found in our article titled “Network Security – The Cold Hard Facts”. While deploying security may not be such a problem for one or two devices, even small businesses will soon find the task of maintaining several dozen devices to be a lot more demanding than expected.
Protecting mobile devices is actually much more difficult than protecting in-house computers due to their portable nature. For most small businesses, it is highly recommended to seeking the advice of an IT consulting professional specializing in mobile device protection.
When it comes to network protection and mobile device protection, nobody beats IT Direct. Contact our IT consulting pros today to find out how we can help protect your business from today’s networking and mobile device threats.