With our highly digitized era, employees access their companies’ systems from their own mobile devices. This becomes another endpoint that cybersecurity specialists should pay attention to. Nowadays, mobile cyber threats are rapidly evolving and are no longer limited to mobile malware. Four different types of mobile security risks require a different approach to stay protected: Mobile Application Security Threats, Web-Based Mobile Security Threats, Mobile Network Security Threats, Mobile Device Security Threats.
Here is an overview of the most common examples illustrating these threats and the ways to increase protection.
1. Social Engineering
It is statistically confirmed that people are the weakest link in any cybersecurity chain. Hackers are aware of it and actively exploit social engineering methods like phishing emails or SMS to make users voluntarily share their private daIt confirmed that people are the weakest link in any cybersecurity chain. Hackers are aware of it and actively exploit social engineering methods like phishing emails or SMS to make users voluntarily share their private data like passwords, ID numbers, home addresses, etc. The most common social engineering trick that probably everyone has faced is a phishing email. This email pretends to be sent by a trustworthy sender but is meant to collect private data or infect a device with malicious software. The best defense against social engineering is to conduct regular cybersecurity training for your team.
2. Malicious applications
Cybercriminals continue to look for new ways of utilizing mobile phones as a tool for their malicious purposes. They try to make users download apps infected with malicious code. Quite often, such apps look trustworthy but allow malicious actors to steal data directly from an application. If your employees download malicious applications and permit them to access their data, they automatically put the company’s sensitive data at risk. The best way to prevent this is to use mobile application management tools that allow your IT team to control access permissions on your employees’ devices without disrupting their personal information.
3. Public Wi-fi
Unsecured, free public WiFi is exposed to all sorts of online vulnerabilities, and everyone who chooses to use it should be aware of its danger. Hackers can exploit it in various ways. For instance, cybercriminals might set up a WiFi network that looks trustworthy but is meant to collect data that passes through the system. The best way to secure mobile devices is to avoid using public hot spots. If it is unavoidable, require your team to use a VPN that tunnels the Internet connection while accessing the company’s system. Here are some VPNs that you can use: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access
4. Gaps in end-to-end encryption.
Imagine a water pipe with lots of holes in it. Can you avoid the leakage? The answer is obvious. The same applies to end-to-end encryption gaps. In this case, your employee’s mobile device is an entry point, and your company’s systems are an exit. If your Internet provider doesn’t provide a secure encrypted connection, sensitive information can be stolen at some point during data transmission. In general, ensuring end-to-end encryption for any sensitive work information is a must. This includes checking the Internet providers you work with and ensuring that your team’s devices and your systems are encrypted.
5. Weak passwords
Many people still rely on weak passwords and reuse the same password for multiple personal and work accounts. Bad password habits present a significant threat for any company. Hackers might use weak or stolen passwords to get access to confidential business information through mobile apps. The ways of reducing such threats include following the NIST Password Guideline, requiring your staff to enable MFA to access the company’s application, using a password manager to create strong passwords, and changing passwords every 6 to 12 months.
6. Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices
Lost and stolen devices present another significant threat for an organization. To prevent criminals from getting access to personal and work-related information, use a Mobile device management tool that secures, encrypts, or deletes sensitive data in case of an emergency. Also, make sure that your team members are aware of the action plan if their device has been stolen or lost.
7. Outdated OS
Many users tend to skip mobile OS updates and tap “Remind me later.” An operating system update provides patches to security holes, bug fixes and replaces outdated software. To ensure that these patches will secure your company’s IT systems, ensure that your employees run the latest OS version on their devices.
Summing up, securing mobile devices on a corporate level is a task that requires due attention. Ignoring its importance might lead to fatal consequences. In case if you need professional assistance in establishing secure mobile devices usage policy in your organization, don’t hesitate to contact us and get expert help.