Mobile Security Threats & How To Protect Yourself
Adam Myers, Head of Cyber Sales at CyberLab, outlines common mobile security threats and offers best practice mobile security advice.
A mobile device can be overlooked as a security risk to your business, a mobile device should be treated as securely as a laptop or tablet. Employees are accessing corporate emails, documents, customer data and applications via their mobile devices. A study done recently by Microsoft found that over 80% of daily work is performed on a mobile device, these devices operate extensively outside of corporate firewalls, in the hands of users who may not prioritize precautions like vetting Wi-Fi networks or keeping their devices patched and updated.
Whilst a mobile phone undoubtably enhances productivity by enabling employees to work anywhere, anytime, it also increases the threat to your security.
Common Mobile Security Threats and Best Practice Tips
Out-of-date OS and Security Patches
Out of date operating systems leaves your device and data vulnerable to hackers. Typically, out of date devices stop receiving security updates within 3 years of release.
Unsecured Third-Party Apps
Downloading of third-party apps, which are applications that you download outside of the authorised App store, can leave devices vulnerable.
A third-party app can unknowingly infect malicious software on to your device, this could enable someone to take control of your device, give hackers access to passwords, customer contact data, online banking and more, all whilst you are oblivious to you and your customers data being stolen.
Android allows apps to be downloaded outside of the Play Store, whereas Apple, unless the device is Jailbroken does not allow the downloading of any app not in the Appstore.
It’s nice to use easily memorable numbers as passcodes, but this can mean they are easy to guess. Passcodes that contain date of births, 1234, repeat numbers such as 0000 should never be used. More complicated passcodes mean better protection. For passcode best practice, ensure devices have 8 digits and do not contain repeat numbers.
Unsecured WIFI networks
If the network you are using is not secure and you log in to an unencrypted site, other users on the network can see what you send. Worse still, they could even hijack your session and capture the user ID’s and passwords you use.
BYOD, which means Bring Your Own Devices, can leave your business vulnerable if not managed correctly. Data theft, downloading 3rd party apps, Loss / device theft, company leaver, and devices not being locked down, all adds to the security threat.
Lack of End Point Protection
Endpoint security software enables businesses to protect devices that employees use for work purposes either on a network or in the cloud from cyber threats. To keep your business secure, it is advisable to have endpoint protection on every device.
Loss / Theft of devices
According to a study by EE, 10 million work devices with sensitive data on them are lost each year, deploying an MDM solution with give administrators the ability to take full control and the ability to wipe the device from any location.
Employees are one of the biggest security risks to an organisation, so conducting regular training ensures they are up to date on best security practices. Plus, deploying an Mobile Device Management Solution can remove a high percentage of risk.
Mobile Device Management
An MDM solution will assist with managing your devices and reducing risks of data loss. You can remotely, locate and wipe lost devices, revoke any access at any time, securely distribute apps, set policies, restrict personal use of data heavy apps, enforce nonstandard passcodes and ensure all users are running on the latest operating system, managing all devices in one place including BYOD.
MDM is easy to deploy and is cost effective, it does not require expert IT management, CyberLab can help you chose the right solution for you, from entry level solution to a more complex solution depending on your business needs.
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