In terms of IT security, mobile is top of the agenda in 2019 for businesses, especially as now workers access the majority of the required data through mobile devices, with smartphones top of the list. With information often the most valuable asset that a company possesses, mobile breaches are a huge threat to businesses of all sizes. These are the specific threats to look for now and in the near future.
A data leakage
Data breaches are one of the most common threats to business, and according to research by Ponemon, companies have a chance of almost 28% of suffering a breach within the next two years.
“Unfortunately, the biggest threat comes from users themselves, who are often lax in what they info they allow apps to share. This is by far the most common reason for a data leak, and is something that can actually be easily guarded against with the right mobile security solution, such solutions offered by Symantec and CheckPoint, for example,” suggests Beata Maxwell, a mobile security analyst at 1day2write and NextCoursework.
However, often the solution is simple education and the implementation of best working practices which guard against employees transferring sensitive data, or even sending an email to the wrong person. It’s often that simple.
Phishing and scam attacks
Another type of threat that can be easily overcome with better practices is what is known as social engineering – scam emails for example. We all know how these work: often an email is sent by an address that is familiar to you, and it contains a link which you then click on, and which can then spread malware onto your device. Remaining vigilant against such scams is once again the best way to manage against these types of attacks. Train staff in such matters, as assuming that they already know the threat can be a big mistake to make.
A mobile device can only ever be as secure as the network it is using to send and receive data, and again this is something that can be guarded against with more vigilant behavior. Open networks are usually the most insecure (think airports, malls and cafes, for example) and so it really is folly to send and receive sensitive data while on these networks.
“There is also such as thing as network spoofing, where you actually inadvertently log on to a malicious network which is impersonating the one you think you are joining,” warns Doug Johnson, a mobile apps developer at WriteMyX and BritStudent.
An incredible number of manufacturers do not keep their devices up to date, especially in terms of patching in updates to their operating systems, which can leave users potentially vulnerable. Using the best manufacturers in terms of secure updates is recommended as a start, while incorporating your own security protocols around these updates is also highly recommended.
You may have heard of cryptojacking – the practice of using another’s device to mine for cryptocurrency, therefore severely affecting the performance of said device. This used to be solely a desktop issue, but like everything else, it’s moved online. Although relatively easy to swerve, be careful of app downloads and malicious adware which may just make your device a target.
It may sound incredible, by spyware installed by someone known to you can actually be one of the biggest threats to your device’s security. You may believe that you have nothing to fear, but the job you do could mean that the data and information you handle is valuable in the hands of another. Downloading simple malware and antivirus detection software is often the answer, and is cheap to do too.
Just like email phishing, SMiShing uses a phone number sent by text message to your phone to entice you into making a call which can automatically lead to a security breach on your device. The solution here is guarding your employees against calling unknown numbers sent my messages directly to their devices, as you would warn them against phishing emails. Treat suspicious activity as exactly that, and you can go a long way to protecting your organization’s mobile device security.