Security Issues You Can Encounter on Your Mobile Device

Many businesses provide their employees with a mobile device to help with their daily work tasks. When it comes to mobile devices, not many people are aware of the security risks that come along with using them. You want to be able to provide enough security for mobile devices to protect against external security threats without hindering productivity or your employees feeling overly restricted by your policies. To help you find appropriate mobile security practices, we put together a list of the three top issues you should plan for and how you can properly address them.

Malicious Applications

Applications are similar to the software of programs you download on your computer. Some applications can offer many services, from communication to data storage or communication. While many apps you shop for on both Android and iOS are legitimate, there are apps developed by cyber criminals designed to disguise themselves as credible apps that can provide you with a solution. You never want to download apps from developers you are unfamiliar with or that you don’t recognize. 

Unsecured Connections

When people use their mobile devices, they usually don’t want to burn through their data, so they opt to connect to whatever Wi-Fi is available. The big problem with Wi-Fi networks is that most publicly accessible Wi-Fi networks are unsecured. When they are secured, they aren’t appropriately secured. Using an unsecured Wi-Fi puts users at risk when sending data to and from devices. Hackers can easily steal information in transit. They can even mimic public Wi-Fi to trick users into connecting to it to steal their data. 

Lost or Stolen Devices

Mobile devices can be easily misplaced or stolen when they leave the office environment. Losing a personal device can cause a lot of stress, but losing a device with sensitive company data can be more stressful. It can be impactful to not only you but your company if anyone gets a hold of your device and can easily access the stored data.

Security Solutions

With such a diverse range of malicious mobile threats, you want to be sure you are optimizing security while still getting the most out of your mobile device. An effective solution needs to be able to detect and respond to security threats quickly and still provide a positive experience. These security solutions can help you safeguard your devices and data from external threats while ensuring your users can remain productive on their devices.

Mobile Device Management: Comprehensive MDM solutions allow you to control app downloads on devices and remotely wipe lost or stolen devices should the need arise. MDMs make it easy to track account access and information about the devices through a remote MDM tool.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN): One big way to protect devices is through a virtual private network or VPN. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the data it’s accessing, meaning hackers cannot simply observe or steal data being sent to or from each location.

To get started with any of the above security measures, contact AE Technology Group at 516.536.5006.

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Make Sure Your Mobile Device Management Platform Has These Features

Businessman hand using laptop and mobile phone on wooden desk

Your mobile device management strategy is going to bleed into every other part of your business, especially in the realms of security and productivity. It is of critical importance that you ensure that your mobile device management platform is working toward your company’s operational goals, but it can be challenging at times to look at this type of technology with its many complications. Let’s dive into what makes for a solid MDM platform.

Now, we know that there are a ton of great features with mobile device management platforms, but there are some that you absolutely should never leave home without, so to speak. Here are just a few of them.

The Ability to Lock and Remotely Wipe Data

While you certainly hope that you never need to wipe your data, this feature is still necessary. If employees lose devices or if someone else steals them, you need to have a plan in place to respond to them. This includes wiping the data from these devices. This ensures that your data privacy remains intact.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting Apps

If your business has employees using mobile devices for company purposes, you should make sure that they are not downloading whatever applications they want. With a company policy in place that governs the use of applications on your mobile devices, you can control the flow of data to external applications and help to minimize data leakage. Plus, if an employee has a list of acceptable applications, they will be less likely to look for their own solutions to specific problems.

Device Tracking and Inventory

Your mobile device management platform should give you the ability to track devices and to know who is using which devices and for what purpose. With the right solution, you can collect information on how the devices are used. It can also provide you with paths to connect with employees should you discover anything about the device that presents a security problem. At the end of the day, you’re not out to breathe down your employees’ necks about how they use their devices; you just want to make sure that the device is being used for the right purposes.

Enforcement of Security Features

Mobile devices, due to their nature, should be protected in as many ways as possible, but don’t stop short at the password. You should also implement features like multi-factor authentication, including biometrics, and powerful encryption tools that can keep data located on such devices locked up tight and safe from prying eyes.

If your business wants to fully leverage the potential of its mobile device management platform, AE Technology Group can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Disposing of Connected Devices: What You Should Know

pile of electronical devices - technology concept

Unfortunately, technology does not last forever, and today’s culture of upgrades means that users of smartphones and other devices are constantly updating even when they don’t need to. This practice can extend to businesses, too. Businesses need to have a strategy in place that they can use when it is time to upgrade from older devices, including the way that you dispose of them. Disposing of connected devices should be done effectively without sacrificing the environment and your data privacy/security. Read on to learn how to do so.

First, let’s establish why you might want to work with a trusted technology professional to help you dispose of your old connected devices.

It’s Good for the Environment

What happens to your device when it gets thrown away? More often than not, it will find its way to a landfill in an off-shore country where it will sit and eventually contaminate the environment. Devices are manufactured with parts that contain precious metals and hazardous or harmful materials. There is a better way to dispose of these devices, one that is less wasteful and much better for the environment.

If you work with a managed service provider, your device will be less likely to find its way into a landfill. Depending on the age of the device and its functionality, your device might even be able to be recycled, repurposed, or donated to someone else who might still get some value out of it.

Data Privacy is Critical

The big thing that you want to keep in mind with disposing of your organization’s devices is security and data privacy. If you fail to dispose of devices with security and privacy in mind, your business could be putting itself at risk of a data breach or fines down the road. Even if your device is not found by a hacker, you could face costs associated with data privacy in much the way Morgan Stanley was in 2020; for failing to properly wipe devices, it was fined $60 million.

Simply deleting files on your devices will not be enough. Due to the way that data and files are stored on devices, you want to have a professional involved in this process so that there is no chance of data remaining on the device when it comes time to dispose of them.

Understand Your Technology’s End of Life Timeline

People often upgrade their devices even when they don’t need to. Everyone tends to jump on the bandwagon, leading to upgrades and new technology implementation even when there is little-to-no value in doing so. This naturally leads to people throwing out perfectly fine devices even when they don’t have to, just for the sake of having a brand new device.

On the other hand, some organizations wait far too long to upgrade their technology, hoping that they can cut costs by waiting until it’s absolutely necessary to do so. Some even wait until the device or operating system is no longer supported! This is a dangerous practice, as hackers are always on top of software and operating systems that are vulnerable to threats. You want to make sure that you can upgrade your devices before you put your organization at risk by using unsupported devices.

AE Technology Group can help your business while properly disposing of connected devices so that you don’t put your organization at risk. To learn more about what we can do for your company, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Remote Work: 3 Challenges and Solutions

Young man having Zoom video call via a computer in the home office

For the past year, remote work has been basically the only option for some businesses. If the pandemic has proven anything, it is that all of our preconceived notions of remote work being impossible for certain industries and sectors are simply not true. Most businesses can leverage remote work in some capacity, so in a post-COVID world, it is your responsibility as a business owner to act on the many benefits that working remotely can pose for organizations like yours as well as mitigate the challenges of remote work.

The Challenges of Remote Work

Let’s discuss some of the challenges of remote work, as well as how technology can help you address them.

Staying Connected

It’s one thing when you can just pop over to someone’s office and pick their brain about something on the spot, or turn around and ask a coworker a question. It’s another when you are in two different locations and physically separated from one another. Staying connected in the ways that matter—building community, rapport, and healthy working relationships—proves to be difficult in an online environment.

Data Access

Many employees have multiple devices, like company-issued smartphones, laptops, and of course, their work desktops. Files might be spread out across these devices, and if the employee is out of the office with no way to access important files, there is a chance that work might not get done. Therefore, staying connected to important documents and files is incredibly important when out of the office.

Security

One of the biggest pain points of businesses when working outside the safety of the office is security. Without the protections of the in-house network, who knows what threats could target your employees’ devices—devices that might not have security solutions installed on them. It’s critical that you take this into consideration when planning your approach to remote work.

Technology to Address The Challenges of Remote Work

As usual, technology offers several solutions to the above dilemmas. Here are some ways that modern technology solutions can help you keep your organization running in the face of remote work.

Voice over IP

Having an all-in-one communication platform like VoIP is a great way to stay connected while out of the office. VoIP lets you use an Internet connection to do everything you would normally do with your in-house telephone system, plus more. Some VoIP solutions also have video and IM chat functionality, giving you and your team more ways to stay connected even while out of the office.

Cloud Computing

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your business’s important data and information could be found in a place where you can access it on any approved device, be it a laptop, desktop, or mobile device? The cloud allows your organization to do just that by taking advantage of an online environment for everything from application hosting to data storage. The possibilities for how your business can use the cloud are quite limitless.

Virtual Private Network

To aid in network security while working remotely, you can use a virtual private network, or VPN, to securely connect to your in-house network. What this does is encrypts data traveling to and from a device, keeping it secure from any prying eyes. This is especially important for employees who might have to work in public locations due to disruptive home lives or travel.

Let Us Help!

Implementing technology that helps your business be successful in and out of the office is critical to staying competitive in today’s economy. To this end, a managed service provider like AE Technology Group can help your organization implement the best tools on the market. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Considering the Future of Wireless Charging

considering the future of wireless charging

The Future of Wireless Charging

There is a lot of demand for perfected wireless charging. If this could happen, it’s possible to think about a world where no devices ever ran out of juice. Though there is a major push to make this happen, it’s clear that there are some people out there who don’t think that wireless charging will have as drastic an effect as it would seem.

The Current State of Wireless Charging

Wireless charging is pretty common nowadays. Some mobile devices are already equipped with wireless charging… at least, while they are placed on a special charging pad. This kind of defeats the purpose of wireless charging, but there are efforts being made to remove this from the equation. A company called Ossia seeks to implement wireless charging that can be done from a distance through a method called trickle charging.

This type of power delivery depends on radio frequencies to send both data and power to the connected device. Thanks to this method, Ossia has developed new conduits that eliminate the need for charging pads and cater to the new devices under its Cota line. Rather than the device having to be physically connected to the power source, the signal can charge the device while keeping it connected to the wireless network.

Ossia’s new charging system can also be used to charge up AA batteries that can be charged without being connected to anything. There are even ceiling tiles that can be used to send out this signal to your devices.

But is it a Good Thing?

While this might be a convenient way to take advantage of your technology without having to keep it plugged in all the time, how can you know what the ramifications of using this technology will be? If your device is always charging, what kind of damage could this do to your battery in the long run? Overcharging might not be a concern any longer, but modern batteries can still suffer from extended periods of charging. This comes from what makes the battery itself.

Lithium-ion batteries have three components that they need to use: a positive and negative electrode (made of a lithium-based compound and carbon graphite, respectively) and an electrolyte. The lithium ions flow from the positive electrode to the negative through the electrolyte. While the power is being used, the ions flow back to the positive electrode.

This process eventually wears away the electrolyte that allows for this flow of ions. This prevents them from ever functioning at optimal efficiency again. Since the ions aren’t able to move, the battery doesn’t work as well as it would have in the past. Ultimately, every battery has a number of charge cycles that it can handle before it’s just not effective anymore.

Since wireless charging would eat away at the battery constantly, the lifespan of the battery itself would be directly affected. Some believe that the battery constantly being at full charge would optimize its efficiency in the long run, though. Another argument focuses on whether or not a fully-charged device would be worth the cost of a replacement battery, which ultimately is up to the user to decide.

What are your thoughts on wireless charging? Let us know in the comments.