How do I choose a secure smartphone for my business?
Choosing a mobile phones can be quite a personal decision – even when it comes to it being for business use. In fact many smartphones being used for business purposes are in fact owned by staff and not the company. Most staff do not wish to carry a personal and business phone and businesses are happy not to pay for out for a phone tariff.
However there are security challenges to using any mobile phone for business data. And yes, email is most definitely business data! In fact a smartphone is essentially just another computer and should treated as such when it comes to cyber security.
The UK Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme contains quite specific controls around smartphones and if your firm does not meet them, you won’t be able to pass.
The most important requirement is that the phone is up to date and supported by the software manufacturer. So it’s important you check before buying a new phone how long this support lasts for. Here is the Pro Drive guide on how to check:
Check the latest version of the Android operating system by going to this website and looking under the ‘discover Android’ menu (version 13 at time of writing). You should get a phone that runs that as a minimum.
You phone needs to run the latest version of Android to be compliant with Cyber Essentials. Android devices typically receive software updates for up to 3 years after first release. Note that lower cost smartphones tend to have a shorter support lifecycle.
Once a device is no longer supported and considered obsolete, it will no longer receive security updates. At this point you should purchase newer devices. Please note that the update schedule is dependent on the device manufacturer.