In the United Kingdom, 93 percent of large businesses and 87 percent of small business experienced a security breach in 2013. In the United States, the number of people exposed topped 57 million. Security issues are a real threat, and the use of mobile technology has increased the potential. Turning a blind eye to these dangers can be detrimental to a company and its clients. Businesses need to have a plan to lessen the risk and a contingency if the plan fails.

The Missing Smartphone

Laptops, tablets and smartphones hold huge amounts of data. Because the device can be physically stolen, device theft is a major security hazard. Though the idea of a genius-level Goth kid developing government-grade hacks sounds great in the movies, one of the most common ways that businesses lose data is by having an unprotected device stolen. Every smartphone should have mobile device management software installed [1] so that you can lock or delete data remotely. Part of your organization’s policies and procedures should be a timeframe for reporting stolen devices. If the theft is reported rapidly, then the management software can be used to minimize any security damage.

Over The Shoulder Robbery

shutterstock_186743378The loss of login information can have a profound effect on a business. People that are really careful about their logins have different passwords for various devices, and the passwords are random numbers, letter and symbols. Most of us are not that careful. The theft of one passcode can lead to all of our other codes.

There are few ways that a person can steal a code. The obvious one is to have good eyes and a strong spatial memory. One slip of vigilance can turn a CFO into a victim.

More sophisticated hacking techniques are being discovered [2] on Android-based mobile devices. Your telephone can be hacked. Nearly half of cell phone hacks are SMS Trojans which send text messages without the user’s knowledge. Pranksters use this to drive up phone bills on unsuspecting victims, but for industrial espionage, this can be used to copy and text sensitive information without knowing. Companies need to require routine virus checks on all mobile devices.

Silly Mistakes

People make mistakes. They send things as cc instead of bcc. They attach the wrong file. They generally screw up. Recently, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan had a security breach because they sold off their old computers, not realizing that deleting files does not completely get rid of the data. When you move a file to the trash, all you did was put it into a different file. When you empty the trash, the file is still there—it just is not indexed. This is the equivalent of pulling a file from the filing cabinet, removing the label and putting it back. To remove the file, you need to write over the data. When these kinds of mistakes are made, the only thing that you can do is have your PR department handle it. Inform the clients and the police. Come up with a definitive plan to safeguard against the error in the future and market around that plan.

[1] http://us.blackberry.com/business/enterprise-mobility/mobile-device-management.html

[2] www.techhive.com/article/252683/android_alert_five_security_threats_you_didn_t_know_about.html

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