Devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops allow employees the flexibility to work remotely in the comfort of their home, favorite coffee spot, the airport and so on. IT support companies offer several options for small businesses to protect sensitive data if one of these devices should go missing by an employee. No one is perfect and sometimes there is a chance when working remotely a device could get lost or forgotten. To ensure the data for a lost mobile phone, tablet, laptop or USB drive is safe and protected, it is best to have your IT support company enable encryption for these devices.
What To Do if a Device Goes Missing
Let’s say your team member is in the car on the way home from Starbucks, basking in the glow of consuming their triple-shot, low-foam, extra-hot cinnamon dolce latte when they suddenly realize their laptop has gone missing. They drive back (in a frantic caffeinated state) only to discover no one has turned it in. What do they do? That depends on what precautions you as a business owner have (or haven’t!) taken.
First, if you’ve properly encrypted all data, password-protected the access to all devices and shut down and logged off all key applications, there is a bit more time to respond. But the first thing to do, whether or not precautionary measures have been taken, is to have your employee notify your outsourced IT company that a device has been lost. That will allow your IT support company to change passwords and lock access to applications and data.
For example, a thief may gain access to an employees unprotected laptop giving them easy access to confidential information. An outsourced IT company can remotely wipeout the stolen device to make sure no one will be able to gain access to the stored data. (Which is also why it’s CRITICAL to back up your data on a daily basis!)
When a Missing Device is Found and Returned
In addition, if when working remotely and a device goes missing, but is found and returned – make sure to change ALL the passwords to every website logged in to, starting with any sites that contain financial data (bank account info) or company data. If your laptop contained client information such as financial information or other sensitive data (like social security numbers, birthdays, etc.), then you need to contact a qualified attorney. They will know what you may be required to do by law to notify individuals who could be affected.
Quite simply, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; so make sure you’re engaging with a qualified managed service provider to encrypt and back up all company data, as well as put remote monitoring software on all mobile devices. Put a pin-code lock or password requirement to access a device after 10 minutes of inactivity, and get into the habit of logging out of websites when you’re done using them. Encryption on all company devices, especially the ones that are leaving with remote employees is a key component to keeping devices secure if they are lost or stolen.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help enable encryption on your company’s devices.