Magpie Tech Tips

January 09, 2019

Remote Wipe: The Last Resort to Protect Company Data

You're on a business trip and you lose your phone. Or someone steals your laptop. What do you do? You call your IT department and ask for a Remote Wipe. Before someone exploits all the company data on your device.

If you use your phone for business, it contains all sorts of company-related data. Customer contacts and emails, company IP, billing information.  Things you don't want falling into a cybercriminal's hands.

Obviously, it's best to keep your phone & laptop with you when out of the office, but if the worst happens, you may have one tool left to protect that data.  Remote Wipe.

These days, more and more companies are implementing Mobile Device Management (MDM). You have Remote Wipe capabilities if your laptop and phone were joined to an MDM platform when set up. Remote Wipe erases all data on a stolen device. You trigger it from another computer.  Here’s how

  1. MDM puts a small app on the device, or connects to its built-in locator beacon (e.g., the iPhone's "Find My iPhone" feature).
  2. If you happen to lose the device, or someone steals it, you notify IT.
  3. IT sends a signal out through the MDM platform. This signal travels out through the Web, looking for your lost device.
  4. When the device receives the signal, it activates Remote Wipe. The device must be on and connected to the Web.
  5. The Remote Wipe command deletes all company data from the device. It may also delete apps, or even erase the whole device, depending on your MDM settings.

It's a last resort, but it's better than letting important company data get into the hands of strangers.

What about your data?  Companies implementing MDM also implement cloud backups for their laptops and mobile phones, so you can "rescue" your data by restoring it to another device.

Interested in exploring an MDM rollout for your company?  Please email us at sales@planetmagpie.com!