The inclination of businesses on mobile devices has made them a significant target of cyber-attacks. Mobile security threats aim to compromise or steal sensitive data by exploiting the vulnerabilities within the mobile operating system.
Hence, a robust mobile device management (MDM) tool is vital for all organizations to prevent these risks. Significant threats to these devices bulk up security incidents within the organization. Here are the top mobile security risks businesses need to know.
Outdated Operating Systems and Spyware
Threat actors try to gain unauthorized access to the systems and their data. Therefore, device security requires regular detection and patching of vulnerabilities like any other data security process. These patches and security systems work efficiently only if the devices are up to date. Businesses must update their operating systems regularly to protect the data from unauthorized access.
Spyware is a trick of collecting data while prompting users to access malicious advertisements (malvertisement) or via scams that initiate automatic file downloads, unintentionally making the device vulnerable to threats. As per a recent report by Pradeo, “Global mobile security report 2022“, spyware is the prime cyber threat on mobile devices.
Irrespective of the device’s operating systems, they are the best targets for data mining with spyware that includes sensitive corporate data. Dedicated mobile security applications can help employees monitor and diminish the spyware files that might have been installed on devices with vital information.
Poor Password Practices
Poor password practices are a significant threat to the organization, primarily where employees utilize personal devices to access company systems and data. Most private and work accounts can be accessed from the same device protected with the same password. This makes the threat actor quickly gain access to the infrastructure to breach the system. Additionally, lousy password practices encourage credential-based brute force cyberattacks like credential stuffing or password spraying since it allows cyber-attackers to steal sensitive data through mobile company applications.
To diminish device password threats, businesses need to educate employees on National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) password guidelines to ensure that best practices are being followed within the organization.
These crucial measures will protect companies against threats from weak or stolen passwords. Furthermore, password managers can simplify the work by ensuring employees follow these guidelines. At the same time, multi-factor authorization (MFA) can be used to minimize the risks. The threat actors must verify their identity with additional authentication details to log into the device’s data.
End-to-End Encryption Gaps
End-to-End encryption gap is standard when the entry and exit points are secure with vulnerabilities in between these points. Unencrypted public WiFi networks are prime examples of end-to-end encryption. Due to insecure and gapped network connections, cybercriminals can easily access the data that the employees share among the devices and systems. Additionally, not only WiFi networks, any unencrypted application or service providers like messaging applications can be an access point for cyber-attackers to access sensitive company information. Businesses must ensure that all the service providers and the devices or systems the employees utilize have been encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.
Data Leaks Due to Applications
Malicious applications allow the hackers to quickly locate the application in the device to plan a more powerful attack, steal data, access digital wallets, and procure backend details directly from the application. As per a recent report by Pradeo, “Global mobile security report 2022“, 22% of devices contain at least one application that threatens user data.
To restrict this kind of attack, users need to constrain themselves from granting unnecessary permissions which are prompted during the downloading process. These practices can leave the devices and companies vulnerable, allowing the threat actors to potentially mine sensitive business data and transfer it to a third party to expose the vital information.
Using mobile application management (MAM) tools is an excellent way to prevent data leakage. MAM tools allow IT admins to manage and monitor the applications by controlling access permissions on the employees’ devices without exposing personal applications or information.
Social engineering attacks like fake emails (phishing attacks) or text messages (smishing attacks) are sent to trick employees into handing over confidential information like passwords or downloading malware applications onto their devices. As per a recent report by Pradeo, “Global mobile security report 2022“, 27% considered phishing as the prime threat exposed on mobile.
One of the best countermeasures for phishing and other social engineering attacks is educating employees on detecting suspicious phishing emails and SMS messages. At the same time, lessening the number of employees accessing crucial information is an excellent way to secure the organization against social engineering attacks. This prevention method minimizes attackers’ access points to critical networks or data.
Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
Employees access the organization’s systems from their devices. These devices are often connected to wearable technology like smart watches or physical devices like voice. These technologies are associated with IP addresses, allowing threat actors to access the organization’s network over the internet to obtain crucial information.
Implementing efficient MDM tools is the best way to combat the IoT attack. These tools will help organizations to shadow IoT threats. In addition to MDM tools, identity and access management tools can help dissolve and prevent the attacks. However, IoT/Machine-to-Machine (M2M) security is still in the grey. Hence, organizations must imply adequate technical and policy regulations to ensure that all systems and networks are secure.
Unprotected Public WiFi
WiFi in public places is immensely unprotected than private networks since there is no information about the network setup and the person accessing or monitoring it. Cyber-criminals deploy WiFi networks that look authentic but capture the data that passes through the system. The best way to secure an organization is by mandating the usage of VPN devices the employees use to access the company system or files. VPN will ensure the session remains secure and private even if public WiFi networks are utilized.
Data Ownership and Policies
Data ownership is crucial to organizations to protect sensitive information. When stored on a personal device, hacking instances can easily breach the data and release ownership. Therefore, it is necessary always to have the information backed up. A robust MDM network security can achieve this. Organizations should back up the data regularly while encouraging employees to do the same. Additionally, all the information must be stored in a secure location like the cloud.
Simultaneously, businesses need to adhere to MDM security policy guidelines. Entrusting emails to a mobile device management service keeps the information up daily. This method will instill confidence in the clients and customers when they know the imposed security measures.
To prevent these attacks, businesses must impose robust MDM cyber security methods. This allows companies to assess security risks and protect sensitive information from cybercriminals. At the same time, an excellent MDM security policy ensures that commercial devices are not a victim of these attacks.