Protect Against 4 Kinds of Mobile Security Threats
How much attention does your business pay to mobile security? There’s more dependence on mobile computing than ever, but surveys continue to show that companies deprioritize security in favor of expedience.
Unfortunately, taking shortcuts continues to put businesses at risk for mobile breaches. The security threats related to mobile device usage come from several directions:
Risks related to unsecure applications
If users download apps from anywhere other than the official app store or a company’s own app store, there’s a chance the app is unsafe. Even these authorized sources have risks; there have been unsafe apps in mobile provider’s app stores, even though they’re supposed to be verified before release.
Risks related to unsecure websites
Mobile devices are as vulnerable to the risks of dangerous websites as any computing platform. In fact, mobile devices may be more at risk, because the smaller screens make it easier to mistakenly click on a link while making it harder to verify that links go to the site the user intended.
Risks related to unsecure devices
Few mobile device users apply new operating systems as soon as they’re released, so they’re vulnerable to all known unpatched vulnerabilities. Many users continue to use devices after they’re no longer officially supported, with no more security updates ever. Power users who think they’re sophisticated may root or jailbreak their devices, which disables many of the built-in security features. Of course, there’s also the simple physical risk of loss of a mobile device, with the dangers increased if the owner didn’t use automatic screen locking and strong passwords.
Risks related to unsecure networks
The “mobile” aspect of mobile devices means that they’re used in many places, and many of the available public WiFi networks are unencrypted and make users vulnerable. It’s also far too easy to accidentally connect to a different WiFi network than the one intended.
Protecting systems against mobile threats can require sophisticated tools such as mobile device management software or enterprise mobility software. For the most basic protection, block all users not communicating with the corporate network over a secure VPN. This will ensure that all communication is protected from prying eyes.
In addition, access controls that limit the data available to a user should be reviewed periodically to protect against unauthorized access whatever the connecting device. Finally, user training continues to be critical. Educated users can recognize and ignore phishing messages, as well as adhere to good password practices.
For comprehensive mobile support services, including mobile security, contact Prescient Solutions. Our IT consulting and managed services in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas help businesses achieve secure computing on devices on premises, in the cloud, and wherever remote employees are working.