21st century technology has provided solutions to problems that have plagued small business owners for decades. Things like affordable wireless internet, smart phones and automated accounting have expedited communication and cut expenses, but they’ve also brought about new problems—new problems that need to be identified and addressed so companies don’t find themselves in a bad position in the unfortunate case of a disaster.
Mobile devices put any information your employees might need in their day-to-day business dealings literally in the palm of their hands, but this comes with risks. A lost or stolen mobile device could compromise confidential records, give away business strategies and lead to a public relations nightmare. Make sure your company has a well-defined and well-understood mobile policy that minimizes the security problems an unforeseen disaster presents.
Your policy should start with the security of the devices themselves. Access to devices should be locked behind a six-character (or longer) password and should auto-lock when not in use. They should be prevented from automatically logging onto public wireless networks and encryption and encrypted backups should be used to whenever possible.
Passwords, both for the device itself and for any apps on it, should be inventoried, as well as any important or sensitive information stored on each. You may need to disclose this data to customers in the event that it is compromised. We’ll re-iterate again, because of its great importance, that procedures for loss, theft and any other industry-specific disasters should all be written out and distributed to employees.
Tracking solutions like Find My iPhone are great solutions to many of the problems outlined above and we highly recommend their use, but they shouldn’t deter you from following these guidelines. Hours or even days may go by before a mobile device is identified as missing. For this period, a mobile-focused disaster plan is critical.