New developments in mobile technology have taken the global workforce by storm, with smartphones now considered an integral asset for employees working in a variety of different industries. From corporate CEOs to delivery drivers, the handheld devices have added valuable elements of flexibility and remote communication to the daily grind.
Yet with the innovations come a range of new security risks. This has meant businesses have had to drastically up the “anti” when it comes to mobile security. To give you a better understanding of recent developments, we’ve put together a list of the most common mobile-borne threats and how they are being tackled.
Apps have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, offering mobile users entertainment, information and practicality. Yet while most apps are harmless, ‘malicious apps’ present a serious security threat for mobile devices. From installing malware and spyware, to gathering private data and information, apps are used to attack end users through their mobile devices. App scanners have since been developed to combat these sorts of attacks, while specially developed anti-virus and anti-malware for mobiles is also a popular form of protection. While it is relatively easy to install such tools, this article from SC Magazine revealed that UK businesses are still falling behind when it comes to keeping devices secure.
Text message threats
As well as being a quick and instant form of communication, text messages are also used by malicious hackers as a primary way to gain personal information. Phishing scams from banks and other sources are a common tactic which can lead to the exposing of passwords, account numbers and other personal data. Call and text blockers are the easiest way to quash SMS threats while the Information Commissioner’s Office also welcomes complaints regarding spam messages.
Email security threats
Thanks to the development of cloud technology, mobile users are able to gain access to email accounts using a range of handheld devices. While this is incredibly convenient, it has also led to an increase in the number of email security threats. The answer is the installation of an effective email security system. Email security by Mimecast is the UK’s leading risk mitigation solution, using cutting edge cloud technology to protect users against a complete range of email-borne threats including spam, malware, phishing, DHA, DDoS, data leakage and socially engineered attacks.
With Wi-Fi connectivity now standard on all smartphones, network threats have emerged as a primary concern for mobile users. Network exploits actively seek out weaknesses in mobile operating systems to covertly install malware while ‘Wi-Fi sniffing’ furtively intercepts transmitted data in order to gather sensitive user information. Proactive threat detection tools such as firewalls and encrypted browsing are the best way to avoid public network threats.
Lost and stolen devices
Regardless of how stringent your in-house mobile security system is, there is always the risk of devices being lost or stolen. When information falls into the wrong hands, the results can be disastrous. At the most basic level, passwords are simple yet effective. However despite the ease of execution, recent research from NQ Mobile revealed that only 52% of users protect devices with a password or an alternative authentication method. Remote location GPS tracking technology allows users to pinpoint the location of lost or stolen devices while automatic lost notices appeal to honest finders. For those using devices to store confidential information, functions such as remote wipe and remote lock ensure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
While mobile devices offer increased convenience and productivity, it is critical for businesses to stay on top of smartphone security strategies. Thankfully, as hackers become more sophisticated, so too do the companies committed to protecting end users against malicious attacks.