Cell Phone Security Concerns has been a disturbing issue among cell phone users. Many firms are prioritizing mobile efforts these days. Research suggests that increased mobility helps businesses enhance their operations and efficiency.
On the other hand, increases in organizational mobility usually result in a rise in the number of mobile devices accessing your systems from afar. And for your security staff, this implies an increasing number of endpoints and risks to secure in order to prevent a data breach at your company. As in the past, mobile malware is one of the most cell phone security concerns.
However, as Verizon’s 2020 Mobile Security Index Report demonstrates, enterprises must consider emerging dangers.
There are four Distinct types of Cell Phone Security Concerns
Most people think of cell phone security concerns as a single, all-encompassing issue. However, there are four major sorts of cell phone security concerns. Businesses must be aware of these in order to defend themselves:
Threats to the security of mobile apps
When individuals download apps that appear to be legal but really skim data from their device, this is known as an application-based threat. For example, Spyware and malware steal personal and business information without the user’s knowledge.
Mobile Security Threats from the Web
Web-based hazards are subtle and go undiscovered most of the time. They occur when users browse infected websites that appear to be functioning normally on the surface. But in reality, automatically download harmful content to their devices.
Threats to Mobile Network Security Cyber Criminals can Steal
unencrypted data when individuals use public WiFi networks. This makes network-based risks more widespread and dangerous.
Security Threats to Mobile Devices
Theft or loss of a device are the most common physical hazards to mobile devices. This threat is especially dangerous for businesses because hackers have direct access to the hardware where confidential data is housed.
Check out what to do when your phone’s been hacked.
The most common examples of these risks, as well as methods businesses can take to defend themselves. These are are listed below:
The use of Social Engineering
When unscrupulous actors send bogus emails (phishing attacks) or text messages (smishing attacks) to your employees. They are attempting to deceive them into giving over personal information such as passwords or downloading malware onto their devices.
According to reports from cybersecurity firm Lookout and Verizon, workplace mobile phishing assaults have increased by 37%. And phishing attacks will be the leading source of data breaches globally in 2020.
Countermeasures Against Phishing Attacks
The best protection against phishing and other forms of social engineering is to teach staff how to recognize suspect phishing emails and SMS messages. Also, how to avoid falling prey to them.
Data Exfiltration Through Malicious Apps
“Enterprises face a considerably higher threat from the millions of generally available apps on their employees’ devices than from mobile malware,” says Dave Jevans, CEO and CTO of Marble Security. Because 85 percent of today’s mobile apps are essentially insecure, this is the case.
“Today, hackers may easily identify an unprotected mobile app. They will utilize that unprotected app to create broader attacks or steal data, digital wallets, backend details, and other juicy pieces. This will be achieved directly from the app,” according to Tom Tovar, CEO of Appdome.
When your employees go to Google Play or the App Store to download apps that appear to be harmless. The apps will ask for a list of permissions before they can use them. These permissions typically demand access to files or folders on the mobile device.
So, most individuals simply scan over the list of permissions and agree without thoroughly evaluating them. On the other hand, this lack of oversight might leave devices and businesses susceptible.
Even if the software performs as expected, it has the potential to mine corporate data and distribute it to a third party. Such as a rival, exposing critical product or business data.
How to Defend Against Data Breach
Using Mobile Application Management (MAM) tools is the best approach to protect your organization from data leaks caused by malicious or unprotected applications. These tools allow IT administrators to manage corporate apps on employees’ devices (wipe or modify access permissions) without interfering with their personal apps or data.
Public WiFi that isn’t Secure
Public WiFi networks are inherently less secure than private networks. It’s because there’s no way of knowing who set up the network. Also, how (or if) it’s secured with encryption or who’s now accessing or watching it.
Furthermore, as more firms provide remote work choices, the public WiFi networks your employees use to access your servers (for example, from coffee shops or cafés). It may pose a security risk to your company.
For example, cybercriminals frequently set up WiFi networks that appear legitimate but are actually a front for capturing data that travels through their system (a “man in the middle” attack).
This isn’t a far-fetched scenario. It’s relatively easy to set up phony WiFi hotspots in public places with fully legitimate network names, and people are eager to connect. This is evidenced by studies conducted at the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions, as well as an experiment conducted by a Magic researcher in 2019.
How to Minimize the Risks of Unsecured Public WiFi
Requiring employees to utilize a VPN to access corporate systems or data. It is the greatest approach to safeguard your firm from dangers over public WiFi networks. This ensures that their session remains private and safe, even if they access your systems via a public network.
Gaps in End-to-End Encryption
A hole in an encryption gap is similar to a hole in a water pipe. The actual point where the water enters the pipe (your users’ mobile devices) and exits the pipe (your systems) may be secure. The hole in the middle allows bad actors to gain access to the water flow.
One of the most common examples of an encryption gap is unencrypted public WiFi networks (which is why they pose such a significant risk to businesses). Fraudsters can gain access to the information your employees share between their devices and your systems because the network isn’t secured.
However, wifi networks aren’t the only thing that may be exploited; any application or service that isn’t protected might provide attackers access to important company data. Any unencrypted mobile messaging apps that your employees use to communicate work-related information. For example, could provide an entry point for a bad actor.
Solution: Double-check that Everything is Encrypted
End-to-end encryption is required for any sensitive work data. This means ensuring that any service providers you interact with encrypt their services to prevent illegal access, as well as encrypting your users’ devices and systems.
Devices for the Internet of Things (IoT)
Mobile devices that access your company’s systems are expanding beyond smartphones and tablets to include wearable technology (such as the Apple Watch) and physical hardware (like Google Home or Alexa).
Note that many of the latest IoT mobile devices have IP addresses. Bad actors can exploit them to acquire internet access to your organization’s network if those devices are connected to the internet. According to statistics, you probably have more IoT devices connected to your networks than you think.
In a research conducted by Infoblox, 78 percent of IT leaders from four countries indicated that over 1,000 shadow IoT devices accessed their networks every day.
How to Deal with IoT Threats in the Dark
Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems like mobile device management (MDM) tools, can assist you address shadow IoT risks.
On the other hand, IoT/Machine-to-Machine (M2M) security is still in a bit of a “wild west” phase right now. As a result, it is up to each company to put in place the necessary technological and regulatory rules to ensure that their systems are secure.
Spyware is used to survey or collect data and is most typically installed on a mobile device when consumers click on a malicious advertisement or are tricked into downloading it unintentionally through scams.
Whether your employees use an iOS or Android mobile, their devices are prime targets for spyware data mining. This could include your sensitive company information if the device is connected to your network.
How to Protect Yourself From Spyware
Dedicated mobile security software (such as Google’s Play Protect) can assist your staff in detecting and removing malware that may have been installed on their devices and is being used to access company data.
Maintaining the most up to date operating systems (and software) on your employees’ devices helps safeguard their devices and your data from the latest spyware threats.
Bad Password Practices
According to a study conducted by Balbix in 2020, 99 percent of those polled repeated their passwords between work and home accounts. Unfortunately, many of the passwords that employees reuse are also weak. For example, according to a 2019 Google study, 59 percent of those polled used their name or birthday as a password. Also, 24% admitted to using a password like one of the following:
Organizations whose employees use personal devices to access company networks are vulnerable to these terrible password habits. Because both personal and work accounts may be accessed from the same device using the same password. It makes it easier for a bad actor to break into your networks.
However, these behaviors also provide an avenue for credential-based brute force cyberattacks like credential stuffing or password spraying. This is because cybercriminals can use weak or stolen credentials to access sensitive data through company mobile apps.
However, because hackers can use weak or stolen credentials to access critical data through enterprise mobile apps. These practices open the door to credential-based brute force cyberattacks like credential stuffing or password spraying.
Threats to Mobile Passwords: How to Reduce or Remove Them
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Password Guidelines are widely considered as the international standard for password best practices. Following these guidelines and requiring that your staff do the same can help you avoid being harmed by passwords that are weak or stolen.
Password managers can make it easier for your personnel to adhere to these rules. Requiring your employees to log in with more than one authentication element (multi-factor authentication, or MFA) reduces the danger of a bad actor gaining access to your systems. This is because they’ll have to validate their identity using additional authentication factors.
Finally, using passwordless authentication can help you completely eliminate password risks. For example, using a facial scan as a primary (or secondary) authentication element could still prevent unwanted access if a mobile device is stolen or accessed illegally.
Stolen or Misplaced Mobile Devices
Devices that are stolen or misplaced are not a new issue to businesses. However, as more individuals work remotely from public places such as cafes or coffee shops and use a wider range of devices to access your systems. Stolen or Misplaced gadgets are becoming a greater threat to your business.
How to Safeguard Your Device Against Stolen or Misplaced
First and foremost, make sure your staff understand what to do if they misplace their equipment.Because most devices come with remote access to erase or move data. It’s a good idea to ask employees if those services are turned on.
Mobile device management (MDM) software can also help you protect, encrypt, or wipe important company data from a stolen or misplaced smartphone. This is achievable as long as the software was installed before the device went missing.
Operating Systems That Are No Longer Supported
Mobile security, like other data security projects, necessitates ongoing efforts to identify and fix vulnerabilities. Bad actors uses these to obtain unauthorized access to your systems and data.
Many of these flaws are addressed by operating system updates from companies like Apple and Google. In 2016, Apple, for example, discovered three zero day vulnerabilities that exposed its devices to spyware attacks. It provided a patch to safeguard customers from these flaws.
However, these fixes will only secure your company if your staff keep their devices updated at all times. According to Verizon’s Mobile Security Index Report, 79 percent of workplace mobile devices have operating system updates left in the hands of employees.
How to Keep Mobile Operating Systems Current
Organizations may deliver upgrades to managed Android and iOS devices from both Google and Apple. This functionality is frequently provided by third-party MDM tools.
IAM Tools Can Assist in Securing Company Mobile Apps
Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems can assist organizations secure the apps and data that users access from their mobile devices, such as:
- Limiting which devices and users have access to company applications and data. Also, the sections of those apps they can utilize.
- Using security features like as multi-factor authentication (MFA), brute force attack prevention, and more, to track user behavior and secure access in the event that something appears suspect.
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