According to ZDNet, old is the new new, at least if you're Blackberry trying to reclaim its place in the smartphone market. Blackberry's latest model, The Classic, will hit the shelves in 2015, and the device is banking on its security features to be a real selling point for government and enterprise sectors.
Here are the smartphone's specs:
- Physical QWERTY keyboard and trackpad.
- 60 percent more screen space (with a touchscreen).
- 50 percent longer battery life.
- 1.5 GHz processor and 2GB RAM.
- 16 GB of space.
- Default encryption for email and web browsing.
If you're like most people who aren't tech junkies, those specs probably mean little to you. But what may pique your interest is the fact that Blackberry's latest may be the most secure device on the market, thanks to its default encryption settings. Let's explore why that matters if you use your smartphone to help you conduct your small business's affairs.
You've Got 99 Data Breach Exposures, and Your Smartphone Is One
Blackberry's decision to go back-to-basics with its latest model is the result of a growing concern about cyber security. It's still anyone's bet to see if the gamble will pay off for the struggling phone maker. But in light of the many data breaches that peppered 2014, data privacy should be at the top of most companies' minds and priorities in 2015.
Consider just how much information you transfer and submit via your business's smartphone. You probably…
- Store your client contact information in your phone's address book.
- Check and send business email regularly on your device.
- Check and manage your business's financial information through online banking apps.
- Connect to your business's wireless network via your device.
- Allow your employees to use their mobile devices at work and connect to your business's secure network.
The list goes on, yet each of these modern conveniences could be a glaring point of weakness if your device is lost, hacked, or falls into opportunistic hands. How likely is that, anyway?
Well, friends, the numbers don't lie:
- 90 percent of all smartphones are vulnerable to malware and malicious app attacks. As we reported in the post, "Running a Business from Your Smartphone? Know How to Stay Safe," cyber security researchers discovered two separate software flaws that compromise roughly 1.8 billion devices worldwide.
- 46 percent of data breaches in 2014 involved a lost or stolen device (e.g., laptops, smartphones, tablets, or USBs), according to Ponemon Institute's 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study. The state of your phone's security is starting to look grim indeed.
- 43 percent of device losses or thefts happen at the office, according to the Verizon 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report.
When you take these stats into account, Blackberry's new Classic might look like a tempting purchase. However, if you're worried about your smartphone's security (and the numbers suggest you should), there are other measures you can take.
Tips for Safeguarding Your Smartphone
- Encrypt your devices. If your smartphone does fall into the wrong hands, the data stored on it will be useless without the encryption key.
- Update your devices regularly. Security patches are released for a reason. The more you delay downloading them, the longer your device is susceptible.
- Know the risks of a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) workplace. If you allow employees to use their devices on your small business's secure network, their malware becomes your malware. Consider implementing policies that limit the types of online activities employees can do on the company network.
- Carry Cyber Liability Insurance. Though this policy can't prevent a data breach from happening, it does offer you the resources to handle the costly aftermath of one. It can help cover the cost of notifying affected parties about the breach, repairing your business's reputation, negotiating with cyber extortionists who hold your data hostage, and more.
You can learn more about the benefits of a Cyber Risk Insurance policy in the articles, "Cyber Liability: The Ultimate Revenge of the Nerds" and "Why Cyber Liability Claims Cost More Than People Think."