When we think of cybersecurity, we often think first of our desktop or laptop, because that’s what most people have associated with virus infections or data breaches for years.
But with the rising use of mobile devices at work and for personal browsing smartphones and tablets are becoming just as much of a potential security threat as any other device.
57% of companies have experienced a mobile phishing incident.
Mobile devices are often used outside a Sturgeon Bay, WI company’s regular network security. They can be connected to several different free Wi-Fi networks throughout the week as employees travel between home and work.
Just one wrong app download and your smartphone can be infected with ransomware or a data stealing malware.
It’s important to know what you’re up against, so you can ensure your personal mobile device as well as those of your employees don’t suffer a major security breach.
Mobile Threats Wreaking Havoc on Smartphones
From apps that hide themselves after being installed to accidental “over sharing” aka data leakage, there are multiple threats to mobile devices to watch out for.
Apps Playing Hide & Seek
In McAfee’s latest mobile threat report, they note that a growing danger for mobile devices are apps that hide right after you install them.
They’re designed to steal data from mobile devices and to make themselves difficult to remove, they’ll change their icon after installation to a common one like “Settings” to hide themselves. When you try to click to open the app, you’ll get a warning message.
Shopping Review Malware
Another form of malware is designed to use the phones of Android users to post fake reviews for certain products. Those reviews then boost the visibility of the product to shoppers.
This malware, called LeifAccess, will use your phone to create fake review accounts, download apps, and then review apps, all without your knowledge.
Business mobile apps are notorious for data leakage. What happens is that users just page through the permissions to start using the apps, unknowingly granting them access to all types of personal and business data that is gathered and sold to advertisers.
These apps can be difficult to spot because they’ll work just as advertised and don’t contain any malware. Instead, they mine valuable data from your applications and device.
Apps Related to the Pandemic
The pandemic has brought out all types of scams and mobile devices haven’t been missed by hackers.
There are multiple dangerous apps out there such as ones promising a map to “outbreaks in your area” or ones purporting to be contact tracing apps. These are actually malware and infect your device as soon as they’re installed.
Mobile Ad Fraud
Another form of takeover similar to the app reviews is a malware that uses your device to click online ads. Ad fraud is estimated to cost businesses $100 billion per year.
How this typically occurs is that the malware will download some type of innocent looking app, like a weather app that is connected to the scam. It will then cause your device to generate in-app ad clicks, the publisher of the app then collects advertising revenue based upon the number of clicks.
If your company advertises on any mobile apps, this is something to be aware of as well.
Free Public Wi-Fi
Being connected to public Wi-Fi continues to be a big risk for mobile devices. Hackers can easily log onto the same free network and breach the devices of other users that are connected.
This is called a “man in the middle” attack because they intercept your internet traffic. They can steal passwords, banking information, and anything else related to your internet session while on that network.
How to Properly Protect Yourself from Mobile Threats
Only Download Apps from an App Store
While some malicious apps can still make their way into an app store before they’re found and removed, it’s still much safer to get apps from the official Apple app store or Google Play store than anywhere else.
Use a Mobile Antivirus
Just as your computer should have an antivirus application, your mobile device should too. Make sure you’re using a trusted mobile antivirus that can detect and quarantine viruses, ransomware, and other malware.
Use a Mobile Device Manager (MDM)
One of the best ways for organizations to secure business data access from employee mobile devices is to use a mobile device manager, like Microsoft Intune.
An MDM allows you to apply consistent security policies across all user devices, remotely control cloud app access, and identify any unusual device behavior that would suggest a malware infection.
How Secure Are Your Business Mobile Devices?
Quantum PC Services can help you ensure that mobile devices aren’t left out of your cybersecurity strategy.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.