5 threats to the security of your company’s mobile devices and how you can prevent them
In a world where the workplace has become almost completely mobile and digital (click here for a more comprehensive digital workplace definition), one thing should be at the top of your priority list: security.
Ensuring that all of your mobile data, systems and networks are always protected from potential threats is critical to keeping your business running smoothly and efficiently. Whether you typically access a VoIP contact center from mobile, use a video conferencing platform on your smartphone, or use any other mobile device, you need to be aware of the key threats you can face—and how you can prevent them.
Want to learn more about this important topic? Our guide illustrates the five major mobile device security issues and suggests ways to prevent them – and protect your business.
Source – 2021 Bitdefender Global Report: Cybersecurity and Online Behaviors
What is mobile device security?
The term “mobile device security” refers to all those activities aimed at protecting data and information stored, accessed or shared on mobile devices. Mobile devices are not just smartphones; they also include tablets, laptops, smartwatches, services like magicJack and IoT devices.
All the data that these devices handle is constantly under potential threat. It is of particular concern when these devices are used in a business context. Establishing a solid mobile security framework ensures that all your mobile devices are protected.
This consists of identifying specific security metrics to measure, monitoring your mobile devices 24/7, and proactively acting when a potential problem is detected. Failure to take quick action if something suspicious happens can be disastrous.
The potential consequences of mobile security attacks
Consider this – when you work in your office, you don’t want anyone unauthorized to enter the building as this could pose a potential threat. That’s why you’ve probably installed some form of proper access control security to protect your physical workspace and the people in it.
The same concept should apply to your digital devices. When an unauthorized person succeeds in their malicious attempt to gain access to your systems and networks and wreak havoc on them, it is incredibly problematic. Read on to uncover the four significant effects cyberattacks can have on your devices.
1. Loss of profit
Once a hacker has gained access to your systems, you can experience a significant loss of money. This can happen in two different ways:
The hacker can gain control of sensitive information, such as internal and client credit or debit card details, and therefore conduct financial transactions that are beyond your control.
As a result of the security breach, you must shut down your business while you deal with the attack. You lose billable hours, profits and have to pay for legal fees. In fact, the average total cost of a data breach in 2020 was $1.52 million. This says nothing about potential damage to the company’s reputation and loss of future income.
The bottom line? Your business can lose millions in just a few minutes.
Source – IBM Security: 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report
2. Loss of data
Another significant risk of a cyber attack on your mobile devices is data loss. Hackers can either delete data permanently, expose it to the public, or hold it for ransom via ransomware. This can have a huge impact on businesses.
Consider, for example, companies involved in augmented reality, banking and even local government. These firms handle huge amounts of data every day – their business largely depends on it. If one of these organizations was hacked and its data were to be deleted or stolen, the consequences would be catastrophic.
3. Loss of brand reputation and trust
You have worked hard to win the trust of your customers and strengthen your brand’s reputation as a credible, authoritative and reliable leader in your field. Losing all of that would be a formidable problem – and losing it due to poor mobile security would be even more frustrating.
Major cyberattacks on companies become public (and viral) within hours, causing customers of those companies to distance themselves from those companies—either by closing their accounts, terminating their memberships, or simply stopping doing business with them. In fact, according to research, 83% of customers will stop using a company for several months after a breach, and over 20% say they will never buy from that company again.
4. Loss of compliance
If your business operates in a highly regulated sector – such as healthcare, finance or insurance – you need to ensure that you comply with specific regulations when it comes to security. Failure to adhere to standards and guidelines can not only have a disastrous effect on your business and its operations, but can also cause you to fail regular security audits and incur fines and penalties.
Now that we’ve highlighted the importance of mobile security, let’s find out the five most common types of mobile security threats and how you can avoid them.
Source – Zimperium 2022 Global Mobile Threat Report
1. Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
How many times have you had to use your smartphone or laptop when in a public area and quickly access the only Wi-Fi network available? Well, we have bad news: If you’re in the habit of doing this often, you’re putting your business at increased risk of attack.
Public and free networks – the ones you’re likely to find in coffee shops, libraries and airports – are also unsecured, meaning they’re much easier for attackers to access.
Prevent it like this
The obvious way to avoid this potential risk is to not use these networks. If you really must use them, remember not to enter personal information or access anything sensitive, such as email, social media accounts or mobile banking apps. It’s also a good idea to have email threat protection on each of your mobile devices, and use a VPN that offers encryption.
2. Poor (cyber) hygiene
The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of practicing good hygiene to stay healthy and protect ourselves and others from the COVID-19 virus. But did you know that you should apply the same concept to your online life too?
Yes, practicing cyber hygiene is not only one thing, but it is also one of the best ways to minimize the risk of experiencing an attack. Mobile devices with poor cyber hygiene – such as weak passwords, shared data and outdated apps and operating systems – are at a much higher risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.
Prevent it like this
Practicing good cyber hygiene requires the following methods such as email verification, automatic app and OS updates and strong passwords. Likewise, you should never share your devices with other people, and you should always remember to log out of an app or website when you’re no longer using it.
You may be familiar with chatbots, but do you know what botnets are? If the word doesn’t sound too threatening, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.
Botnets occur when two or more computers are accessed and controlled by a hacker at the same time. With a botnet, several cyber threats can occur, including the installation of Trojans, viruses and other malware.
Prevent it like this
Cyber hygiene is essential to avoid your mobile device becoming part of a botnet. Download only trusted, legitimate apps and software, don’t use unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and implement security automation for faster incident response.
Source – Cognyte: The Rise of Dark Web Botnet Marketplaces Report
4. Malicious apps
Do you love apps? You’re in good company, considering the average smartphone user has as many as 40 apps installed on their device. However, when downloading new apps, always stick to trusted sources. Never download apps from third parties, as these may pose a higher risk of malware and other cyber threats.
Prevent it like this
The best way to avoid malicious apps is to only use Google Play and the Apple App Store to download them. Make sure all apps are updated regularly to correct any security vulnerabilities.
5. Bad or broken cryptography
With the growing popularity of remote work, video conferencing platforms and note-taking software (such as Otter AI or other Otter AI alternatives), digital data sharing is the name of the game in today’s business world. And while staying digitally connected with your colleagues is important, it also poses potential risks.
For example, if you use software that does not have the right type of encryption or powerful algorithm, you may be more vulnerable to cyber attacks. This in turn means that the content of your conversations may not be protected and that information you share in them may be accessed by cybercriminals.
Prevent it like this
Once again, one of the best ways to minimize this risk is to ensure that you and the people you communicate with always use reliable, legitimate and up-to-date online tools. For added security, use secure software to send and sign important documents, such as the Pandadoc signature software.
Keep your mobile devices safe
With more and more businesses relying on mobile devices for their daily tasks and operations, improving cyber security has never been more important. Mobile threats are always around the corner, but there are many steps you can take to prevent them.
In this guide, we identified the top five threats to mobile devices and provided simple but important ways to prevent them from potentially destroying your business.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Swimlane (en-US) written by Jessica Day. Read the original post at: