Mobile security: Why It’s Important and Mistakes to Avoid

November 6, 2019 | Views: 2272

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The world is going mobile, and there is every reason to be mobile.

At a time when everything is moving at a break-neck speed, we need to be on our toes, and thanks to mobile devices, we have got everything on our fingertips.

The rise in mobile devices is a blessing for us. Still, at the same time, cybercriminals and hackers have also repositioned their strategies to match the potential rise of mobile devices. And we have substantial statistics to prove it.

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As stated by IDG1, 74% of the global enterprise IT leaders have admitted that their organization has experienced data breaches due to mobile security issues. Another report compiled by Raytheon2 reveals that around 82% of cybersecurity professionals believe that unsecured IoT devices are expected to cause a data breach.

So when so much is going on in the cyber world, it becomes obligatory to up the guards in the mobile security domain with the latest hacks and guide improve mobile security3.

You can take steps to avoid malware attacks, but no one can guarantee 100% success. So, what to do in such a scenario?

Importance of Mobile Security

Right from protecting your data to prevent your device from becoming vulnerable to malware, we have every reason to invest our time into mobile security. And it makes mobile security a priority for every one of us, especially for businesses and organizations.

1. Avert Malware Infection

Once your device is stuck with a malware attack, you become more like a sitting duck because, in most cases, the victim is not aware of the breach, and the malware keeps the user bleeding of his data.

The most common way of cybercriminals to inject malware is through ads. After a user clicks on an infected advertisement, the Trojans and viruses transfer to the device, which in turn, creates loopholes for hackers to snoop.

But if robust mobile security is put into place, such malware attacks can be averted.

2. Anti-Viruses Can Help

After getting the hold of a device, the first thing that cybercriminals target is the private data because it’s the easiest way to extort an individual. But if software like an anti-virus is put into place, such attacks can be prevented and stopped.

Nowadays, anti-viruses are programmed in a way that they can counter every online threat. Also, the system gets the additional punch of VPN services, data erasing options, remote lock, device tracking, and much more.

Therefore, protecting mobile security through software programs like anti-virus is always a sane idea.

3. Remote Access Becomes Elementary

As per a report, around 70 million smartphones are misplaced every year, and out of them, only 7% of smartphones are recovered. If we talk about company-issued smartphones, it combines to be 4.3% of the total smartphones.

Hence, excellent mobile cybersecurity offers you remote access to the device, which helps you delete your data on lost devices automatically.

Remote access is more vital for organizations because oftentimes, employees go away with official devices, which contains the company’s data.

Myths of Mobile Security

The following are some of the most common myths that are followed by the masses:

  1. Everyone Protects Their Device

    We all know mobile security is important, but when it comes to securing mobile devices, very few of us take it seriously. In many cases, users don’t even enable pattern or pin lock, as it’s seen as an inconvenience.

    Then it’s advisable to keep the device sensitive data encrypted. But again, for most people, stuffing data in the gallery remains an easy step, and they think it can’t be accessed by any third-party, which is one of the greatest myths around mobile security.

  2. Users Don’t Store Corporate Sensitive Data on Mobile Device

    Some organizations have their corporate apps for better security and the convenience of the employees. And it makes many people believe that having a dedicated app or a browsing window will not give room to sensitive data of their organization. But little do they know that there can be phishing and snooping on their corporate data as well.

    Many malware creates a window for hackers to get into the app, and once there, the hackers can zoom into the data of their choice. Else, the user sometimes downloads the corporate data for their convenience, and the data may land into the lap of the hackers.

  3. Mobile Devices Are Averse to Hacking

    According to research, two-thirds of the companies think that their mobile devices are never hacked, and even if it occurred, they have no clue about it. These statistics are quite alarming and can wreak havoc on any business.

Common Security Mistakes That Are on the Rise

Here are the most prevalent mobile security threats that many companies are facing today:

  1. Phishing Threats

    On desktops, phishing attacks are usually made over emails, but nowadays, cybercriminals are targeting mobile devices through text messages, Facebook, WhatsApp, and websites that have secure HTTPS extension.

    For employees or organizations, spear phishing is the most common distress. It’s a rising threat as hackers do spear-phishing to gain access to sensitive data.

  2. Mobile Malware

    Inserting malware is the mundane practice that is exercised by the hackers, and it’s done by making the user click on infected links that have the potential to inject malware such:

    • Trojan
    • Adware
    • Spyware
    • Ransomware
    • Viruses
  3. Public Wi-Fi Networks

    To remain on the go, public wifi networks at airports, restaurants, and shops are most frequently used. But many a time, such as public networks are fake and are designed to track the user’s activity. Also, it’s one of the easiest ways to gain access to a mobile device.

    Shockingly, 81% of employees admit that they use public wifi even when their companies have laid down strict policies against using public Wi-Fi networks. It not only put the user’s data at risk but may also compromise the company’s standing.

  4. Malicious Apps

    Malicious apps are another potent source from where malware can slip into a mobile device. In a recent finding, it was found that a new malware named xHelper has infected around 45,000 Android devices4, affecting mostly users in India, the US, and Russia. The source of xHelper malware is said to originate from third-party app platforms.

    Therefore, it’s always advisable that the user always download apps from the recognized source. For instance, it’s the Google Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS.

  5. Outdated Devices and Apps

    Not updating your devices and apps can also land you in trouble. With every new dose of technology, hackers arms themselves to find chinks in the devices and apps, and these chinks can present a duck soup for the hackers to steal user’s data.

    The user needs to make sure that the apps and devices are updated on a regular interval. An updated app brings along the security patches that can fix the existing loopholes of an app (if any). And updated devices further cut down the possibility of a breach.

    Still, there are chances that apps on the official app stores may inject malware in the mobile device. Some apps take permission from the user to access functions on a mobile device, which can pose privacy risks, as some apps collect users’ data without their permission.

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    References:
    1. https://info.lookout.com/rs/051-ESQ-475/images/idg-report-buying-into-mobile-security.pdf
    2. https://www.raytheon.com/cyber/cyber_megatrends
    3. https://www.mobileappdaily.com/2018/09/12/improve-your-mobile-app-security
    4. https://www.zdnet.com/article/new-unremovable-xhelper-malware-has-infected-45000-android-devices/

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