5 Steps To Take After Work Device Goes Missing To Reduce Risk

A stolen or missing work device can constitute a nightmare for many organizations. This is why having a viable plan in place is very important. This includes strategies and policies that your employees can enforce to minimize risks associated with missing laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

One of an employee’s greatest fears is losing a mobile device used for work. It is not a pleasant experience, especially as it leaves you in panic mode as soon as you realize your phone or laptop is gone. Unfortunately, there are no certainties about not misplacing a work device. Most of the time, what bothers employees the most is not the cost of the device but how much information it contains.

A good number of these devices undoubtedly contain corporate data that constitute a severe risk for your organization when it gets lost or stolen. When fraudulent individuals come in contact with essential data, they manipulate it for their gains.

According to Forrester’s State of Data Security and Privacy Report 2018 to 2019, 15% of data breaches are caused by stolen or misplaced devices. This report clearly shows that missing work devices are a big deal.

What steps should you take when your laptop, tablet, or smartphone goes missing?

We’ll discuss how you can tackle the situation using five simple steps. Read along!

1. Report the missing work device immediately

The first step is to report the missing device to the appropriate authorities. You’re probably scared of your employer’s reaction when you admit that your work device is missing.

Sadly, delaying reporting the situation will only expose your organization to greater risk. The risk can be mitigated when you report the problem to your employer so that the proper measures can be taken. At this point, you should not concern yourself with your employer’s actions when you relay the information to them. What matters is that you do the right thing.

The sooner an employee knows that a device with access to business data has gone missing, the faster your IT team or IT provider can spring into action to disconnect that device from network access privileges.

2. Identify its location, if Possible

When your work device goes missing, the first step you should take is to pinpoint its location, if you have a “find my device” feature enabled. You may find it nearby and simply misplaced; in which case the situation can be remedied quickly.

However, if you see the device in an unfamiliar location, it’s best to contact law enforcement. As you should not face a potential thief on your own. If the device has been stolen, expect that you won’t be able to initiate any remote features, because savvy criminals will turn off the device’s Wi-Fi.

3. Find out what the work device contains.

Instead of fidgeting and expressing regret over something you could have done better to protect the device from being lost, you should concentrate on finding out if there is sensitive information on the device.

This is where the importance of having good IT services comes to play. But, even if you don’t have IT, you can take time to organize your thoughts and remember the data on the work device. After you have identified the information, your discovery determines the next step.

4. Disconnect the device from cloud services

There are many different cloud services that devices stay logged into. Microsoft 365 accounts, Slack or Trello, for example, social media, and cloud storage systems. You should log onto your cloud services using another device, and navigate to the settings area.

Look for a section that lists authorized devices, and deauthorize the missing device. Should you find the device, you can always reconnect it later. This will log the device out of the services and reduce the risk that a thief can access your personal or work accounts.

5. Make use of mobile device management solutions.

The Mobile Device Management Solutions helps organizations properly control their work devices. They make it easy for companies to update and configure their work devices remotely.

When your devices are lost and you’re uncertain who would be monitoring the device and the data it contains, the MDM tool helps you quickly lock the device remotely, change passwords, and then remove all the sensitive information.

In a difficult situation, you may be left with the only option of wiping the device of all data remotely.

Protect Your Data With ECN IT Solutions

With many uncertainties around human activities, work devices are bound to get lost or stolen. These five steps will help you face this reality and adopt the appropriate measures to protect your data.

Has your work device gone missing, and do you need help retrieving sensitive data? ECN IT is an IT support company that takes care of your Tucson business needs. Contact us at 520-355-7553 for further inquiries.