3 Ways to “Ghost Proof” Your IT Network
What makes haunted houses so scary are the ghosts of souls left behind belonging to former residents. These restless spirits manifest at unexpected times, causing problems for the living. What about the virtual realm? Is it possible for your company’s IT network to be haunted? If you have employees connecting outdated devices to your network, then it’s possible for it to be haunted by the ghosts of devices past.
This spooky analogy works when you consider the fact that every piece of technology comes with a lifespan all its own. This is especially the case with software; when an app or operating system no longer receives security updates from its manufacturer, it is, for all intents and purposes, “dead.” Therefore, when an employee connects a device with expired software to your network, it’s as if a ghost is now haunting your system, posing a very scary security risk.
Here are three ways that you can minimize the risk of using older devices by “ghost-proofing” your network.
Update and Patch Applications and Operating Systems as Needed
Any apps and mobile operating systems that aren’t up-to-date are a potential security risk. There’s a reason that apps are continuously updated with the latest security updates, and it’s because there are exploits that must be resolved. Otherwise, your devices will be at risk of being compromised by external threats. Even if you’re using older devices, your operating systems should be current. Also, if you’re using an OS that’s no longer supported, you need to make efforts to update to a new one as soon as possible; especially if you’re dealing with sensitive information.
Educate Employees on Application Best Practices
Not all of your employees are tech-savvy, so you should make every effort to educate every staff member on how to best use their device. For example, be sure to emphasize that any apps downloaded from the app store should have reasonable data access requests. A flashlight app has no business looking at your contacts or your call history. Furthermore, you should disable “side-loading;” any apps your employees want should come only from the app store, as hackers will often spread malicious apps through links posted on message boards or in email messages.
Use a Mobile Device Management Solution
Keeping track of your mobile devices doesn’t have to be a frightening task. A mobile device management solution allows your organization to keep its mobile devices in order. You can remotely patch and maintain your devices, but what’s more than that is that you can whitelist and blacklist apps to limit your data’s exposure to dangerous entities. Plus, you can perform a number of other functions, such as disabling the camera, restricting network connectivity, controlling password policies, and more. There’s even the option to remotely wipe the device should it become compromised, lost, or stolen.
By taking these proactive security measures, you’ll be able to confidently look at your network and say, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” Happy Halloween from all of us at Resolve I.T..