Today, small businesses (with fewer than 25 employees) and Start-ups show almost the same pace of adoption of mobile devices and mobile devices technologies with large companies. However, most are not sufficiently informed about security issues, and lack the technical expertise and the necessary budget for the proper protection of portable devices, whether belonging to the company or its employees (BYOD).
Recently research of Kaspersky Lab to 3.900 IT professionals from all over the world has highlighted the challenges they faced in the last 12 months. At a rate 36%, participants from Europe said they have managed to integrate mobile devices into the day-to-day operation of small businesses and start-ups. It is remarkable that this percentage is almost identical to the percentage of mobile device integration for large businesses, which touchs 37% in Europe. This means that smaller companies adopt the use of mobile technologies at the same pace as the very large companies that have more than 5.000 employees!
The use of mobile technologies can not be limited by business size, but there are other key factors that need to be addressed. Specialization and resources are the most obvious obstacles for small businesses, which often lack the expertise to implement technological applications. These limitations can even create problems for small business owners who are well informed about security issues.
For example, 43% of small businesses in Europe reported "portable device security" among their top three IT priorities for the next 12 months. When asked about the policies they have adopted with regard to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model, whereby employees use their personal portable devices for business purposes, the research revealed a significant difference in perception depending on the size of companies, as only 10% of small businesses have adopted relevant practices.
When asked about technological trends, the 22% representatives of small businesses and start-ups from Europe agreed that the trend BYOD import a significant risk of digital security. However, the corresponding figure for large corporations and business organizations was almost double, with 53% and 42% respectively, agreeing that the adoption of BYOD leads to risks.
Is it therefore likely that small businesses will overlook the fact that mobile devices belonging to employees may pose a risk to their safety? This is a particularly worrying possibility, as small businesses are more likely to face the use of workers' devices as a cost-saving measure. The most common threats to mobile devices belonging to workers include malicious software, rogue apps that are connected to the corporate network through the worker's device, and theft or loss of devices that can lead to loss of corporate data.
What can they do? start-ups and small businesses
Despite the limited financial resources and potential lack of know-how around advanced security solutions, small businesses and start-ups can use mobile technology - including employee-owned devices - without having to invest a lot of time or money. By combining common sense with appropriate technology, they can greatly ensure the protection of mobile devices and focus on their daily operation.
1) Workers' training: Employees are the first line to protect business data. Businesses need to make sure that new employees know that if their smartphones or tablets contain workplace related information, they should not be subjected to unnecessarily dangerous usage habits (eg browsing of dubious content websites). Also, if a device is lost or stolen, the event should be reported directly to the company.
2) Basic anti-theft protection: Adopting a software solution that can remotely erase data from a lost or stolen device is necessary, but also economical. Some devices have built-in anti-theft features and there are many third-party applications that can be used for this purpose. Of course, in this case, the employee should know that if the data is deleted from his / her device, the personal information he / she has stored is usually lost. This means that employees should keep back-up files.
3) Avoiding complexity: A newly-created start-up with few employees is not able to spend a lot of time to buy, implement and manage security solutions that appeal to large businesses and have not been developed for their own needs. That's why small companies have to avoid buying a product "bigger" than their real needs and to be content with the basic functions for the safety of their portable devices.
To meet the needs of small businesses and start-ups, Kaspersky Lab has the Kaspersky Small Office Security solution, which contains basic mobile protection features such as anti-malware, anti-theft and application control technologies. The solution includes basic portable device management, data encryption and terminal security tools in an easy-to-use interface that can be configured in just minutes.
At Kaspersky Lab's site, visitors can find more information about it Kaspersky Small Office Security And the mobile technologies the company's. Finally, especially for small businesses and start-ups, Kaspersky Lab has developed an electronic one guide with detailed information on mobile security technologies and BYOD voltage.