Cybersecurity of Mobile Devices: A New Target
Updated: Aug 11
Most of us have our computers chalked with cybersecurity software, keeping all information secure. The same isn't for mobile phones and tablets; the risk is even higher as those devices are regularly being used.
In this blog, I look at the rise of cybersecurity, the seven threats all companies face, and how many firms aren't bothered by increasing security for efficiency.
Cyberattacks on the Rise
The next part is that cyberattacks increase yearly, with no signs of slowing down. Cybersecurity Venture states these cyberattacks will be bigger than the illegal drug trade in the future, with some of the most significant wealth transfers from data breaches. Mobile devices seem most at risk and compromised for cybersecurity of all the regularly used devices.
Statista reports that network breaches in the US went from 157 in 2005 and skyrocketed to 1,597 in 2017. This vast increase also affects ransomware, with attacks going from 82,000 in 2016 to 160,000 in the following year. These attacks aren't cheap either; businesses across the globe have had to pay over $6 trillion in 2021, and these costs don't show signs of stopping either.
Mobile Devices and Cybersecurity
A perfect storm is brewing, with the high rise in cybersecurity showing no signs of stopping and more people relying on mobile devices. Cybersecurity experts state that a "hellish nightmare" is on the horizon, something set only to worsen. Currently, many mobile phone users and business leaders aren't taking steps to protect themselves and any sensitive information.
Mobile Users at Higher Risk
Network engineers for many companies refer to personal devices as "rogue devices" because businesses don't want employees using their computers or phones. Some companies have even instituted a Bring Your Device (BYOD) policy, passing the risk-off to the company's employees.
Compared to ten-plus years ago, we have become more mobile and reliant on our phones for just about everything. Kaspersky Labs points to seven ways employees' mobile devices can risk a firm's network. Below is the list of seven different ways companies everywhere are at risk:
We all have different mobile apps on our devices, which can be an easy entry point for data leakage or breaches from a hacker. Users' data, location, and devices can be at risk, not to mention the company network.
Open Wi-Fi Networks
Employees who leave work for a quick coffee break or are just out and about can easily threaten a company's network. The risk is that users leave their Wi-Fi and then access open networks seamlessly without knowing anything happened.
A hacker can set up a network spoof in a public place, and users might try and join it without a second thought. This network spoofing can quickly put any mobile device at risk of vulnerability, and coffee shops are hot for these traps—network spoofing for hackers like taking candy from a baby.
Phishing scams are a hacker's go-to tactic for trying to swipe sensitive information without a second thought. Mobile device usage increases, making this exposure an absolute favorite for cybersecurity attackers.
Spyware software is a tool for many hackers to strip a device of sensitive information without users being wiser. The software then takes the data and sends it to a third party that uses it to its advantage.
Faulty cryptography ensures that messages are unreadable except for the sender and receiver. If this software is broken and doesn't work, sensitive messages can be at risk of being opened by someone else, having information fall into the wrong hands.
App Session Handling
How apps work when users stop using them can be what hackers look to use to their advantage. Whether a user has to sign out of an app or note, known as session handling, hackers can mimic how the device's user interacts with the app and device.
Businesses Hold Some Blame Too
Verizon Wireless Mobile Security Statistics say that one-third of all businesses have knowingly sacrificed their network security for improved business operations. So, employees aren't the only ones at fault. Firms everywhere are tempting hackers across the globe.
In 2017, over 162,000 ransomware attacks, and records show that over 93% were entirely preventable. As organizations stay willfully blind, do not bother with software updates, and lack employee training on phishing attacks, all these risks will worsen.
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