Take Steps to Protect Against These Important Mobile Security Risks
Mobile devices make employees productive, but it’s important to be aware of the security risks of relying on those devices. Here are eight mobile security risks you need to protect against.
1. Using mobile devices for 2-factor authentication.
By now, most understand that passwords are easily compromised. Adding an additional layer of authentication helps protect data. Two-factor authentication relies on the user satisfying two of these checks: something you know (password), something you have (a token sent to a device), something you are (biometrics).
Very often the token is sent to the employee’s mobile device via a text message. The problem is that there is no verification that the device that received the token is in fact the employee’s phone. It’s possible for hackers to gain access to mobile numbers through SIM swapping or by tricking employees into sending them the token. Once the hacker receives the token, they are able to complete the 2FA process.
2. Unpatched operating systems.
Mobile device operating systems need to be frequently updated to protect against vulnerabilities, but users commonly fail to apply these updates.
3. Insecure WiFi.
Accessing data over the cell network can be expensive, so users generally prefer to use wifi. However, public wifi is usually not secure. Data transmitted over those networks can be exposed and devices connected to those networks can be infected with malware.
4. Dangerous apps.
Apps should be downloaded from the phone’s official app store or your company’s own app store, but even apps obtained from those sources can be unsafe. Some approved apps contain vulnerabilities or actual malicious code, while others ask for more privileges and access to more data than they need for their function.
5. Rooted phones.
Phones come with built-in security; users who jailbreak or root those phones remove those protections. Allowing a rooted phone to access your network or your data exposes you to high levels of risk.
6. Unencrypted data.
Data stored on mobile devices risks being exposed to unauthorized users if it isn’t stored in an encrypted format.
7. Mobile malware.
Just as PCs are targeted by malware, so are mobile devices. Once infected, they can expose data stored on them or data entered by their users; they can also transfer viruses to systems the phone connects to. Install antivirus software on phones in order to protect against these threats.
8. Loss of the device.
Mobile devices are easy to lose; the data stored on them is lost along with the device. Data can also be exposed through other, subtler ways in which the user loses control of the device, such as “shoulder surfing” exposing data to others in viewing range of the screen.
Protect your business data through implementing a mobile device management strategy that protects against these risks. Prescient Solutions provides complete mobile support services for businesses in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Contact us to learn how our team can help you manage mobile risks to protect your data while empowering your employees and increasing their productivity.