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A brief overview of the changing landscape in data privacy and a look at how policymakers view the regulatory environment.
With wireless technology continuing to evolve, more and more businesses are discovering the advantages of allowing employees to work remotely using laptop computers, cell phones and other wireless devices. Although there are a number of benefits from a business standpoint, the use of wireless devices also has the potential for costly, large-scale problems due to the risks associated with keeping transmitted and stored data secure.
High profile data breaches illustrate the often-vulnerable nature of protecting sensitive customer and employee information. Mobile "smishing", a type of phishing attack in which mobile phone users receive text messages containing the potential to download a Trojan Horse virus, also reflects the increasing threats to the security of wireless data.
Other sources of wireless data threats include WiFi spots with bogus network connections, unauthorized viewing of documents on a computer screen, and dishonest or disgruntled employees.
To avoid the repercussions of these scenarios, employees should always verify an establishment’s correct WiFi network connection and utilize privacy screen filters. Employers should have clear and documented HR policies in place that require thorough background checks, monitor employee behavior, and prohibit network access upon employment termination.
Along with general awareness regarding the risks of mobile devices, businesses and mobile device users can protect sensitive customer data by incorporating wireless data policy guidelines that address the following:
Although the security threat to mobile devices is relatively mild today, this will not remain the case in the future. By outlining your business’s protocol for handling these threats, creating and implementing a comprehensive wireless data policy, and establishing appropriate mobile security measures your business can be better positioned to help prevent potential problems such as data leaks, malware, spyware and privacy breaches.
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