This special interest group covers mobile technologies and approaches that are helping utilities do business today. 

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Protecting Your Smart Device

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writer and researcher BrightGreen PR

Julian Jackson is a writer whose interests encompass business and technology, cryptocurrencies, energy and the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is...

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  • Jul 22, 2021 8:47 pm GMT
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As the workforce becomes more mobile, there are issues to consider: security of your mobile devices, can they be lost and leveraged to damage the utility company?

The high resale value of smart devices – along with the personal or business information contained on these platforms make them a prime target for thieves. Utilities need to protect themselves and their workers by following the guidelines below if their devices are damaged, lost or stolen.

 

Cybersecurity

 

Mobile devices need to be secured, encrypted, and preferably have biometric security instead of passwords. A robust anti-malware suite should be installed. At company level, it is best practice to have an outside, independent “white hat” hacking company try “Penetration testing” to check security on a regular basis.

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Employees need regular training on cybersecurity – they shouldn't download apps to their device, be careful about opening “phishing” type emails, and certainly don't open unknown attachments.

 

Robustness and reliability

 

Mobile devices will be taken out in the cold, rain and heat by field service personnel. They need to be more robust than the average cell phone. When considering models, opt for something waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. These features can be found in a device’s listed Ingress Protection (IP) rating. An IP rating of 50-60 is a good indicator of a tablet’s environmental endurance.

Even tough items will suffer if they are left out in the sun or the rain and this will reduce their lifespan. You can add apps like Aida64 to give you a wealth of data on how the device is performing and help you spot trouble – like overheating – before it causes damage.

 

Physical security

 

If the worst happens and the device is stolen, you need to ensure that no precious data is lost. Install and maintain anti-theft software. Apps are available that can locate the missing computer from the internet, particularly if it has built-in GPS tracking.

Many of these apps are able to remotely wipe the device, so that no information can fall into the wrong hands if it can't be recovered swiftly.

These precautions are needed as more people work remotely – the industry is definitely moving towards more telecommuting and mobile working, which brings its own challenges.

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