This article discusses ten mobile security threats that every company owner and security administrator should be aware of.
1. 𝐎𝐮𝐭-𝐨𝐟-𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐎𝐒 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐏𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬
Although mobile phone OS updates are intended to improve user experience, they frequently go beyond performance and can include security as well. Updates occur frequently, and users may ignore the reminders and postpone the installation. This is a mistake because staying up to date with the latest OS version is critical. These updates frequently include critical security patches. These updates safeguard iOS and Android devices against the most recent threats.
Ignoring updates makes your mobile device vulnerable to malware attacks.
All employees must be trained to check that their phone’s operating system is up to date by going to general settings and selecting “system updates” or “software update.” If an update is available, do not ignore or postpone it.
ᘖ.𝐔𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐫𝐝-𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐲 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐬
A trusted third-party mobile app can be secure and support business operations such as emails, calendars, text-to-speech, payment processing, and more.
Employees who use ineffective or suspicious third-party apps in the workplace, on the other hand, pose a significant security risk. This personal use endangers the enterprise because the apps do not fall under the enterprise security framework. These apps are not properly vetted by the IT department and are frequently installed without their knowledge.
3. 𝐌𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐬
Malware attacks is on the rise, as are malware-related attacks such as ransomware. Employees expose themselves and their employers to potential risk when they search for and install apps on the mobile devices they use for work.
While Android OS is more vulnerable to malware attacks, Apple iOS, even with its ‘closed’ Appstore, can be impacted. Two dangerous types of malware, XcodeGhost and YiSpecter, have been discovered in iTunes App Store apps.
Individual users’ personal email and financial accounts may be compromised as a result of this. If an employee uses an infected mobile device to access enterprise networks, the organization is also at risk.
4. 𝐋𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐮𝐬 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
Most people have antivirus software installed on their personal laptops or desktop computers, and most businesses ensure that their user devices are similarly protected.
However, antivirus protection is also beneficial for handheld mobile devices. These applications guard against viruses and attempted hacking. Some software, such as Panda’s free antivirus software, includes VPN features for added security. Microsoft Defender is another viable option.
Keep in mind that smartphones and tablets are pocket-sized computers with the same storage capacity as a desktop workstation or laptop. As a result, mobile devices should be protected by the most recent antivirus software.
5. 𝐏𝐨𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐩𝐲𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞, 𝐌𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐑𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
The lack of proper spyware, malware, and ransomware protection on mobile devices is one of the most serious IT security flaws. Whether legitimate or illicit, spyware monitors activities that expose technology users to data breaches and misuse of their personal information.
Malicious Spyware has the ability to infect an entire network. Spyware infiltrates your computer or mobile device, collects personal information, and sends it to a third party without your knowledge. It remains hidden while it collects data and monitors your activities. Some spyware can also activate your phone’s camera and microphone.
Ransomware Malware from a downloaded app, link, or email compromises a user’s device. The attack encrypts user data, making it inaccessible. If the device is already connected to a corporate network, the ransomware usually spreads to other computers, replicating the damage on each device, server, and data backup storage system.At a certain point, a ransom demand is made in exchange for the data being unencrypted. You may choose to pay the ransom, but your files may not be recovered.
The IT security team at your company should have protocols in place to protect against these types of attacks. Explain to employees that by using personal mobile devices to access enterprise networks, they are putting the company’s data at risk.
Employees should also be aware that they can contact their IT department to learn more about how to better protect their mobile devices from spyware, ransomware, and other types of malware.
6. 𝐉𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬
‘Jailbreaking,’ also known as ‘rooting,’ is the process of unlocking your phone and removing the safeguards put in place by the manufacturer. People do this to gain access to their preferred mobile carrier as well as applications sold on app stores other than the manufacturers’. While it may seem appealing to jailbreak your phone in order to gain access to other app stores, doing so introduces unnecessary mobile security risks.
Unofficial app stores are not vetted, and many of the apps available on them are likely malicious. Downloading one of them may result in one of the previously mentioned malware attacks. For these reasons, you should never jailbreak your phone or buy one that has already been jailbroken.
7. 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐔𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐅𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞
Setting your lock screen is one of the simplest ways to protect the data on your mobile device. Although it may be convenient to disable this setting, it is the first line of defense in preventing strangers from accessing your phone.
Most phone apps keep you logged in, so a stranger only needs to open the app to gain full access to your accounts, which include your calendar, email, e-commerce, and banking accounts. Setting your lock screen to activate after a minute of inactivity prevents this.
8. 𝐔𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐖𝐢𝐅𝐢 & 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐓𝐰𝐢𝐧
The benefit of mobile devices is that we can access the internet from virtually any location. Most businesses provide free WiFi as a courtesy, which is certainly appreciated by those who need to save cellular data. While open WiFi networks are convenient and efficient, keep in mind that they are not secure.
Cybercriminals may have used the Evil Twin technique to set up a bogus WiFi network in order to intercept your data. This method creates a WiFi network that looks similar to the store’s or coffee shop’s official WiFi, but with the name spelled slightly differently.
Once connected, the hacker can use a man-in-the-middle technique to access your data while you are connected to WiFi. Always ask the store staff for the exact wireless network name.
To secure your data when using public WiFi, it is recommended that you connect through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Your employer most likely has one available that you should use whenever you use your mobile device for work.If you are using your device for personal purposes, you should use a private VPN because it provides a private connection even when connected to a public network.
9. 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐎𝐰𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 (𝐁𝐘𝐎𝐃)
BYOD appears to be an effective idea at first look, saving the company money on mobile and other devices. The issue, however, is the security risk that BYOD presents. With phishing and malware attacks on the rise, managing devices with different operating systems and versions adds fuel to the fire.
BYOD security is challenging because it necessitates keeping track of troubleshooting, security patches, and other software updates across multiple devices. The IT department of the company does not closely monitor personal devices, and those devices are not always connected to the corporate network. This is where personal devices become a liability because they jeopardize network security.
10. 𝐋𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐎𝐟 𝐄𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 (𝐄𝐏𝐏)
Malware and ransomware attacks are increasingly targeting endpoint devices such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. Endpoint Protection (EPP) is a complementing suite of security services designed to support end-user endpoint devices, particularly mobile devices. EPP secures your endpoint estate by combining advanced security measures such as antivirus, anti-ransomware, phishing detection, and end-to-end encryption.