8 Useful Mobile Security Apps for the BYOD Business Road Warrior
Smartphones and tablets are nothing new, and for many have become an essential part of our lives. It should be no surprise to anyone that people would demand easy mobile access to their work files – whether to keep up with developments away from the office, or taking your materials to a client presentation.
Providing this type of easy access however, especially in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) type environment – is very challenging for even the largest and most “tech-forward” companies. This is because providing a secure and reliable BYOD environment is tremendously complex, as any IT security expert will tell you.
There is however hope on the horizon. Though the market is still new and relatively undeveloped compared to more traditional computing – the mobile worker does now have some pretty good (if not excellent) options for securing their mobile devices.
You not only protect the “privileged information” from your company, you also more importantly protect yourself from the risks and liabilities of exposing sensitive data (even if accidental).
Divide is an interesting tool with good promise (at least as a concept). This app essentially turns your regular mobile device into TWO devices – one for business, one for “pleasure”.
This works by creating a separate workspace on your smart phone or tablet, where you can keep and access all your work files – without having you or your company otherwise modify the device. Once you close the app, it goes back to being the same faithful companion you know and love.
PacketFence is a robust, well designed, and open source Network Access Control tool – that allows you to control who, what, when, and where someone can access your network.
From an admin standpoint the level of control allowed is astounding. Such as creating and enforcing your own policies, managing guest access, and ensuring that only registered users are able to access your network – including the ability to limit access to a strict set of files / folders only.
3. File Locker
FileLocker is a fast and excellent file encryption app currently only available for Android. The app will securely encrypt any file on your device, and even hide them from view, so unscrupulous characters will not even know the files are on your device.
While there are more than a few similar apps available on iTunes, none of them (yet) have the reputation or helpful features of File Locker – for example sending you a reminder if you forget to re-lock your files after you are done using them.
BoxCryptor is a wonderful encryption tool that allows you to securely access your cloud-based file storage sites – such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and SugarSync etc.
The encryption is handled directly by the smart phone or tablet, so no passwords are ever sent through the airwaves for all to see. Any file dropped into the Boxcryptor folder will be automatically encrypted and then sent to your favorite cloud storage service.
DirectPass is a very helpful app for people who need to keep track of multiple login details – providing users with the coveted “single sign on” feature we all crave.
There is a lot to like in this app security-wise – such as the secure browser (for web banking or other secure login), secure notes (for important or frequently accessed information), one-click form fill (for secure shopping), and even a keystroke encryption feature.
mSecure Password Manager is similar to DirectPass, but is geared more towards offering a secure place to store all your most important private information – such as your social security number, banking details, insurance information, and of course any login credentials.
One particular cool feature of this app is the self-destruct should someone attempt to guess your password too many times. It also uses 256-bit encryption which is still generally secure enough for today’s purposes.
While iOS users already have a complete device backup solution available through iCloud, many Android users need some extra help – and this is one of the best apps we have ever seen for this purpose.
Among other things you can backup, restore, and freeze all your apps and data – including protected and system apps, and any data contained on your SD card. Note there is also a free version available, though it comes with fewer features.
While made by McAfee this is not an antivirus app. The coolest thing about this app is the ability to lock down and wipe out your device should it ever get stolen or missing – and you can ever locate and track your SIM card on a map.
WaveSecure also offers a backup and restore option – though iOS users will hardly need it, and Android users are better served with Titantium. Windows and BlackBerry users may however benefit from this option if no other is available.
Simple BYOD does not have to mean there is a corresponding lack of security. While the mobile landscape is still something of a “wild west” in terms of technological maturity – a lot of gains have been made very recently, and there are some excellent options out there suitable for practically any use.
Keeping yourself protected is simply a no-brainer for anyone who takes BYOD seriously.