Cyberattacks are now coming from everywhere, from lone hackers to criminal operations to state-sponsored groups. The threats to mobile devices particularly are increasing in frequency and sophistication as the number of targets grows exponentially.
Enterprises have done a good job of securing computing and network resources at their offices, but mobile security is another issue. Mobile devices, often connecting via not-quite-secure Wi-Fi networks, are increasingly used as pathways for attacking enterprise infrastructure and compromising an organization’s data, assets, and brand.
The mobile threat may involve phishing, a malware attack, or some other tactic aimed at compromising a mobile device and exploiting a number of common mobile security mistakes that organizations make. This is why it is so important to be sure that each device, each mobile endpoint, is well protected.
Here is a brief look at seven of the most dangerous and costly mobile security mistakes made by companies of every size:
Mobile security mistake number one: Leaving corporate email unsecured. With about three out of every five emails now being opened on mobile devices, it is a natural entry point for hackers who want to get into your organization’s network. In fact, the vast majority of breaches start with an email phishing attack, as hackers seek data and credentials in their quest to infect your devices with mobile malware. And once they do, things only go downhill from there. This underscores the importance of making sure each device is properly defended, rather than relying on a cloud-based solution.
Mobile security mistake number two: Failing to protect corporate apps. Most online fraud is now occurring via mobile apps and mobile browsers, with ever-increasing threats aimed at breaking through your defenses by attempting to gain access to device apps as the entry point. The typical attack starts small, and once hackers break in, they proceed to elevate their privileges until, in a worst-case scenario, they are in a position to control your network. Because these mobile security threats are always evolving, the best defense is an artificial intelligence-based solution that learns the enemy’s tactics and can mitigate the danger.
Mobile security mistake number three: Leaving microphones or cameras unsecured. As you can imagine, microphones and cameras can provide hackers with valuable information, not to mention the privacy implications. If hackers put a device into ongoing recording mode, or activate the camera to take screenshot photos that can provide metadata and geolocations, they can gain easily exploitable data. An endpoint device-centered protection approach can guard against these unwanted activations.
Mobile security mistake number four: Exposing passwords or login information. These are critical items that must be protected on the device, and represent perhaps the greatest danger on an individual mobile endpoint. There are many forms of attacks that seek to gain and utilize this information, from device attacks to network attacks, phishing sites, and malicious apps. The hacker’s goal: achieve more control than the user, and consequently take charge of the device along with the paths into the corporate network.
Mobile security mistake number five: Letting the device be the carrier for ransomware. Because companies typically have little visibility into their mobile devices, it becomes easier for hackers to phish in that pond. Once a device is compromised, hackers take a couple of different approaches. They may head right toward servers where they seek access to admin privileges, or they might sniff around the network to find a susceptible target for their ransomware or other mobile malware.
Mobile security mistake number six: Access to executives. We take conveniences such as the ability to share executives’ locations or calendars for granted, but such information is pure gold to hackers. Or perhaps even worse, if the hackers gain access to the executives’ contact lists, they can multiply their phishing activities and do even more damage. More proof of the importance of device-centric, AI-powered protection that keeps each mobile endpoint secure.
Mobile security mistake number seven: Offering an entry point to the corporate net. Hackers get smarter every day. They target devices because that is where mobile security is most often the weakest. And the fact is, each device provides a route to the corporate network; after all, that is why we use these devices, to do our work and connect to that network from virtually anywhere. The network link can only be properly protected if the device is safe from compromise.
Each of these vulnerabilities can be addressed with a strong defense such as Sprint Secure Mobile AI, an advanced always-on mobile security threat detection app that uses machine learning to provide comprehensive protection. Its ability to detect known and unknown threats by analyzing the behavior of the mobile device enables quick responses when malicious activity is discovered.
For example, Sprint Secure Mobile AI monitors mobile security threats and changes made to the device and its operating systems. It assesses cellular and Wi-Fi networks to help profile an attack and determine the source. It also vets the reputation of apps and studies the characteristics of malware and other threats. In addition to its monitoring and automated protection capabilities, Sprint Secure Mobile AI integrates smoothly with mobile device management solutions.
Don’t make these mobile security mistakes and let bad actors hinder your employees’ ability to use mobile devices to conduct business. Mobile security is a real threat for every business and enterprises need to take proactive steps to continually protect company data.