You’re rudely awakened one night by the shrill sound of your phone. It’s a phone call that you, as a business owner, never want to hear — one of your employees was out having a good time and, through a chain of events, is somehow no longer in possession of their cell phone. Now’s not the time to worry about the personal information that your employee may have lost: Your sensitive company data is on that phone! What should you do?
Assess the Situation
First things first, try not to panic. Assess the situation. The phone’s gone, and so is your data. Think about the employee and the information to which they have access. Is it all superficial information that you can risk losing? It may not be worth tracking the phone down at all. If the employee has access to a larger amount of data, ask them what they may physically have on the phone, if they have passwords saved, or anything of the sort.
Contact the Service Provider
Before the phone falls into the wrong hands, you should call the service provider. They can usually disable service to the device, so if the person does somehow get into the phone, they won’t be able to transmit any data unless they’re on a Wi-Fi signal. If the phone is still active and has a signal, the company may be able to triangulate the position of the phone.
Change Passwords Immediately
The next thing that you should do is change that employee’s password from the administration side and prevent access to your data. Since mail services frequently check for updates, it’ll inform the user that the password is invalid and ask them to enter a new one. It won’t prevent previous e-mails from being displayed, but it will prevent any new information from being downloaded from the server. They won’t be able to access any data to any files once the password is changed.
Remotely Wipe the Device
Image via Flickr by Intel Free Press
In a situation like this, you’ll thank the heavens that you have Blackberry enterprise mobility management software. No matter what platform the device is running, if you have previously installed mobility management software, you’ll be able to lock the device down with the press of a button.
Even better, you’ll be able to remotely wipe any and all data from the device. Your employee might not appreciate this feature, but in a situation like this, where if the data falls into the wrong hands, it could mean doom for your company.
Before wiping the device, inform the employee. If it’s a company phone, they really can’t object, but if your office has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy and it’s their personal phone, they should be informed that you’re about to wipe the device. Hopefully before implementing a BYOD policy, you mentioned the risks and consequences of losing a device that contained company data.
Consider the Cloud
After everything has settled down, consider moving your data to the cloud. With the cloud, the employee won’t be storing information on the phone, they’ll be accessing it through the Internet. The cloud is secure, and if a device is lost or stolen, you can change the employee’s password, locking them out from all of the sensitive company data.
Compensation for You
Now that your data is safe and secure, it’s time to worry about the loss of money your company just suffered. Under federal law, except in the state of California, if a device is lost or damaged, the cost of the device is deducted from the employee’s paycheck, so long as it doesn’t put their pay rate under minimum wage. In California, the only way to get compensation of the sort from a damaged device is to prove that the employees were negligent with the device.
Another Device for Them?
This is where the dilemma comes in. The employee has already lost one of your devices. Are you willing to trust them with another one? If the phone was stolen, it’s probably safe to get the employee a replacement, but if the employee was negligent with the device, you may request that they pay for another device out of their own pocket.
From there, you can take use of mobility management software and allow them remote access to everything without allowing them to physically take any data with them. If something happens again, it’s no big deal, you can simply wipe the device again, but for the employee, since they paid for it, they may be more careful with it.
Allowing employees to have devices in the workplace has become the norm. Since many offices are now implementing BYOD policies, employees are being much more careful with the devices since it’s their personal device. On the downside, an employee losing their phone means that they’re both losing personal data and company data. Thanks to mobility management software, you’ll never have to stress out about losing data again — you’ll simply wipe the device and move on.