By now, you’ve probably heard about the hacking of credit reporting agency Equifax’s servers, potentially exposing the Social Security and driver’s license numbers of 143 million US customers. If not, you’ve been living under a rock.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time their database has been breached, and it’s not the only high profile breach we’ve seen lately. There have been a number of other major attacks recently that have taken down popular websites, compromising millions more.
Now more than ever, IT managers need to guard against security threats and advise their staff on how to stay safe. It’s no surprise that two of the top three fastest growing apps in the workplace are security-focused for enterprise users, according to Okta. You’ll need to advise your colleagues on what they should do when they bring their own devices to work, and while teaching best practices, you’ll also want to share these top 5 mobile security apps.
1. Best to check—and check again
In addition to checking Equifax’s site to find out if their information was exposed (and to sign up for a year of free credit-file monitoring and identify-theft protection), you’ll want to suggest your employees request a credit freeze on their files with Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis to ensure no one will try to open a new credit card account or apply for a mortgage in their name.
Setting up alerts through their online banking to let them know if anything is amiss is also wise. “We think nothing of checking Facebook or Instagram 10 times a day, but many think it is too much to ask to check your bank statements once a week,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com, in an interview with The Mercury News.
You can also suggest they check this site to see if an email account has been compromised in a data breach (chances are, it has). Once that’s all squared away, you should consider employing some form of device management solution, like the Mobile Spy app, which allows IT to track company-owned devices for unusual activity and keep them up to date with the latest security patches, minimizing the risk of an attack.
2. Protect those passwords
Whether you’ve been breached or not, you should advise your colleagues to change their passwords frequently. Unfortunately, that could set the stage for people to choose simple passwords that can be easily guessed. A good password generator and manager can eliminate the hassle and risk, keeping online accounts secure.
For free, secure login storage and generation, it’s hard to beat LastPass—which is why it’s among the top 5 mobile security apps. It generates and stores unlimited passwords in a vault—protected by a master password. It can also auto-complete online forms and uses multi-factor authentication.
As a raft of hacking has compromised many internet services, they’ve also adopted two-factor authentication (aka 2FA, “two-step,” or “verification”) for users. LastPass has jumped on the bandwagon and provides its own 2FA service, but the leader of the app pack is Google, which is available for free on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry and issues a constantly changing set of codes you can use for any site you set it up for—even without a connection.
3. Lock it up
Literally. The name of the app is Lock It Up!, and it does what it says. At just under a buck, users can enter accounts from a list of selections, including Contacts, Email, Facebook, and Google accounts. It even has the capability to secure pictures, like those of credit cards in case they’re lost or stolen. Then, they can choose a word, PIN, finger motion, or TouchID to lock the app and prevent access to the data.
Once you’ve set your choice of authentication and protection, you can then choose to require it every time you launch the app or after a certain amount of time. In addition, the app allows you to back up your data by emailing it to a secure destination. Once sent, you can store it there or save it on an external drive for maximum security. To restore data from the backup, you can email the attachment back to the device and open it from there.
4. Secure those emails
Sensitive data can be passed unknowingly through email. Just think about how many times documents get forwarded. With a focus on usability and automation, Mynigma puts an end to the security headache by making end-to-end encryption available to non-technical users. It’s free and works directly on the device—not in the cloud.
The app also offers the following security features:
- Genuine device-to-device encryption
- Strong authentication
- Secure algorithms
- Automatic encryption of attachments and subject lines
- Effective content filtering
5. Hacker-proof work communications
Wire’s private messenger allows users to secure and encrypt all communications—from calls and chats to shared photos, videos, files, and more. The free app works on mobile, tablet, and desktop and syncs everything automatically.
It’s not just companies and websites that store your personal information. Apps collect and hold personal private data in exchange for the ease of shopping, dining, calling a car service, etc. from your phone. It’s important for IT to reinforce the need for reviewing privacy policies on the regular—and performing the dreaded audit. If an app goes unused, it’s critical to delete the account before deleting the app to ensure that names, emails, credit card numbers, and other credentials aren’t left in the care of the app’s administrators.
These top 5 mobile security apps, combined with a little real talk, should make your work environment much more secure in the future.