5 Kinds of Mobile Security Risks

Today’s business is non-stop. Employees need access to corporate systems and data wherever they are, around the clock. Only mobile devices provide the flexibility to allow employees that kind of constant connectivity. However, mobile devices introduce new kinds of security risks. Businesses need to consider using mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) software to protect against these mobile device threats:

1. Operating system attacks

Much like computers, mobile devices run a range of operating systems and versions, each with its vulnerabilities to attacks. Vendors provide patches, but when employees use their own devices, it’s up to every employee to download and install the upgrade. Protect against these threats by using your MDM software to prohibit connections from devices that aren’t using the latest, safest operating systems.

2. Application attacks

If an application isn’t securely coded, it can have vulnerabilities such as storing passwords and other confidential data in cleartext. Other applications request greater permission to users’ data than needed to perform their function. Apps that aren’t downloaded from authorized app stores may contain malware. Only allow users to connect with authorized applications download from verified sites; you can build your own app store for downloading work-related applications.

3. Wi-Fi attacks

Wi-Fi connections at public sites such as coffee shops and airports are commonly unsecured, meaning anyone can connect. Using these networks makes mobile devices susceptible to eavesdropping and attacks that install malware. Require users to connect to business applications over a virtual private network to ensure the privacy of these connections.

4. Malware attacks

Mobile devices aren’t immune to malware. Adware is a big threat, as well as spyware and keyloggers; some malware spreads through SMS applications. While Android is a popular target, iOS is not immune. Require your employees to have antivirus software installed and active on their devices.

5. Employee attacks

Hackers target employees in several ways. The approach can be as simple as shoulder surfing while the employee works off-site. Employees accidentally give up data when they fall for phishing attacks or lose their devices. Employees who deliberately give up data are also a threat. Enforce policies that require devices to be password-protected and to lock after a brief period of inactivity. You should also require employees to use encryption to protect any data stored locally on the device. MDM can provide you with the capability to remotely wipe corporate data from a device after it’s reported lost or stolen. Data loss prevention software can help protect you against employees who use unapproved file-sharing services to remotely access files from their devices.

Properly implementing EMM, MDM, and other technologies to protect your data when employees work on mobile devices can be challenging. Prescient Solutions has the experience with mobile services to help you define and execute an effective mobile security strategy. Contact us to get started protecting your data against these mobile risks.

Additional Mobile Cyber Security Resources

Bring Your Own Device Policies Let Non-Profits Get More Out of Their Employees and Volunteers

Downloading Apps from the App Store Doesn’t Mean They’re Safe

For BYOD Security, Manage Devices, Applications, and Users

Protecting Your Network Begins With Controlling the Devices that Connect to It

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