Mobile Risks You Need to Defend Against This Year

 In Mobile, Security

As businesses increasingly rely on employees’ using their personal mobile devices for work purposes, making sure those devices keep corporate data secure is increasingly important. Passwords aren’t enough. Even good passwords can be broken, and passwords don’t defend against all the potential risks to your data. CSO points to a number of mobile threats businesses need to be prepared to handle this year.

  1. Poor passwords. Passwords are the first line of defense on a device, but they’re not a strong one. They tend to be even worse on mobile devices where employees reuse passwords on both work and personal accounts. And passwords may be cracked.
  2. Out of date devices. Your data center team may have an excuse for falling behind on applying patches, given the large number of systems they support. Your employee (probably) only has one cell phones, so what’s their excuse? There may not be a good reason for it, but mobile devices are hardly ever kept up to date with operating system (OS) changes. This may be because new OS versions have a reputation for breaking things, but mobile devices that aren’t kept current remain vulnerable to a variety of threats that could expose your data.
  3. Social engineering. Human nature is sometimes our biggest weakness and our biggest risk. Hackers are extremely good at sending emails that trick your employees into clicking on dangerous links and opening malware-filled attachments. The risk is bigger on mobile devices because small screens limit the amount of information displayed about the sender.
  4. Bad WiFi. There’s little alternative for mobile users but to use WiFi, but using insecure networks leads to insecure mobile computing. Network spoofing leads to users accessing data from unsafe networks that make them vulnerable to “man in the middle” attacks. Many users don’t use VPNs, which are an easy solution to mitigate the risk.
  5. Lost devices. You can lose control of your data when an employee loses control of their device. Who knows who’s looking over your employee’s shoulder and reading their screen when they read work emails at the neighborhood coffee shop? If your employee actually loses the device, your data is at risk unless it’s stored in an encrypted format.

You can read more about these and other risks in the original story linked above, but becoming informed is just the first step. To protect your data against these risks, you need to take action. Enterprise mobility management software can help you enforce controls and allow you to limit access to corporate systems to devices that are up-to-date with patches. You can also enforce encryption and use of password-protected lock screens, along with other measures to keep corporate data safe on employees’ devices.

Prescient Solutions mobile support can help you develop your mobility strategy and choose and implement the right tools to keep mobile computing safe. Contact us to learn more about our IT consulting and managed services in Chicago and Schaumburg.

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