These days, there’s an increasing demand for companies to provide employees with shared devices – such as tablets or laptops. This is a great way of improving productivity, as every employee has easy access to the information they need to do their jobs. However, it’s also essential that these devices have proper protection from cyber threats.
The statistics speak for themselves: according to a study, ‘virus and malware attacks on USB drives and other media were the third biggest cyber threat facing businesses. But many people don’t realize that this threat is far more serious than it appears at first glance. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why shared devices are vulnerable to malware infections:
1. There’s a wider audience
When an organization places its employees in an environment where they will have access to several shared devices, it increases the risk of malware infection by making it accessible to a much wider audience.
This is because each employee can unknowingly infect the other shared devices when they plug in their USB drive or memory stick. To make matters worse, it can be extremely difficult for IT managers to keep track. Of which USBs have been plugged into which machines. As employees are only necessary to record this information manually.
2. Malware is designed for business use
Malware creators are increasingly focusing their efforts on creating viruses and trojans that can easily spread through business environments. This means that IT managers need to be extra vigilant when it comes to protecting their business from this kind of threat, as each one could potentially put your entire organization at risk of infiltration by cybercriminals. The last thing you want is for your entire hard drive content to remove it!
A common problem with mobile devices is that different employees may be using the same device at different times. This leads to the problem of managing data on shared devices.
- One way of dealing with this problem is to restrict what applications can be installed on devices and require that all access to corporate data be done through applications you have approved.
- Another way of dealing with this problem is to require employees to use two-factor authentication whenever they log into their company’s network. This way even if another employee uses their device after them, the second person won’t be able to access their corporate data without the employee’s device and password. (This might not always work because some companies let employees share login information.)
- A third way of dealing with this problem is by requiring remote workers to only download approved applications and/or by using whitelisting technology.
In summary, when dealing with remote devices, it is important to balance the need to control your organization’s data with the need to allow employees to use their mobile devices freely. Employees are more productive when they can use their device or the device of their choice, but you want to make sure they don’t put your company at risk by doing so.