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The Risks of Allowing Employees to Use Tablets

iStock_cell & tablet-000022454376SmallTablets and other such devices have become increasingly common in the average workplace. And, while these devices can be important for your employee’s daily work, they also represent a cyber risk if they are not properly managed.

The following are just a few of the major risks associated with having tablets in the workplace:

  • Mobile malware. Tablets are typically infected by malware via malicious apps and phishing scams. When this happens, a cyber criminal can gain unauthorized access to the device and associated network systems. In general, iOS tablets like iPads are safer from malware than Android tablets. However, mitigating the risk of malware typically comes down to the user. Workers should avoid downloading unfamiliar apps.
  • Loss of data. Following a security breach, data loss is inevitable. For tablets, this could mean that users are locked out of their devices altogether. To protect your business, employees should always back up their data, and ensure that no sensitive or proprietary information is stored on it.
  • Unsecured networks. Unsecured networks are a particular concern for tablets because they are easy to take on the go into areas with free and public Wi-Fi connections, like cafés and airports. These connections are not always secure and can be easily hacked by cyber criminals. To prevent this, employees should be reminded that no public Wi-Fi is safe. For further protection, offer a virtual private network (VPN) that your employees can utilize to safely use the internet off-site.
  • Theft. In addition to virtual threats from hacking and phishing scams, cyber criminals could just as easily steal the tablet itself. This could give them unlimited access to proprietary or personal information. To combat this, employees should never leave their devices unattended. Using a secure password can also help prevent theft of information.

Above all, employers should have a personal device policy in place that accounts for security threats. Employees should know what they can and cannot do with their devices and how to protect the sensitive information contained within. These policies should be extended to other personal devices with internet access, such as smartphones.

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