What is Mobile Device Security?

Mobile Device Security

Mobile device security is the protection of sensitive data stored on and transmitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops and other portable computing devices. With the number of mobile devices in operation growing drastically year over year, the challenge of protecting compromised data from unauthorized access is getting bigger than ever.

Hackers make use of malware, worms, and spyware designed explicitly for mobile devices to gain unauthorized access, phishing, and theft activities. Wireless computing is prone to online threats and vulnerabilities thereby implementing adequate security measures in a corporate network to safeguard sensitive data is increasingly important.

Types of Mobile Security Threats

Malware:
Malware includes viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware designed to steal data, harm devices, encrypting or deleting sensitive data, hijack browser sessions, monitor user activity without their permission and provide backdoor entry to hackers. Malware is also known as malicious software.

Phishing:
Mobile device users easily fall victim to online fraudsters in phishing attacks because users are more likely to be tricked into opening an email, instant message, or text message with malicious intent. Hackers impersonate a legitimate company and attempt to steal user sensitive data such as credit card numbers and login credentials. These attacks are successful on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets because users find it difficult to navigate between screens to recognize the authenticity of the link.

Outdated OS:
The outdated operating system in mobile devices opens the door for hackers to exploit. Mostly, users are not fully aware of the importance of operating system update and end up suffering from unanticipated online attacks. Besides this, jailbreak attacks are becoming more common these days which discreetly allows downloading of apps and extensions on mobile devices.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs):
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are targeted at stealing data rather than causing damage to the organization or network. As the attack is a stealth activity, the hacker after gaining access to the organization’s network stays there undetected for a long period of time. A successfully staged attack can leave behind devastating results.

Untested Mobile Applications:
At times, downloading third-party vendor apps from unauthorized sources can prove to be malicious programs. Therefore, it is advisable to download from the regulated app store to avoid vulnerabilities and to prevent exploitation. The same can be implied on downloading authorized software due to the reason that some of them are not up-to-date versions.

Mobile Device Security Best Practices:

Since the advent of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work, organizations are witnessing high risks of data vulnerability with three fourth of the official population accessing corporate information or internet from their personal devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. Thereby, it becomes mandatory to secure those mobile devices from cyber attacks. Below are some of the best practices that are religiously followed in the cybersecurity world to protect mobile devices from attacks.

Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks:

Unknown internet connections or Wi-Fi hotspots can prove to be some risky business, so avoid using unsure Wi-Fi networks to steer clear of risks.

Avoid Downloading Apps from Unknown Sources:

Download apps from trusted sources like Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Play Store. Third party sources for downloading apps are not safe as they are the abodes of scams and other online disasters.

Unsolicited calls or messages:

Never open emails from unknown senders or attend calls from untrusted sources. Always make it a point to verify calls and scan emails before proceeding further. The best approach is to refrain from responding to unsolicited calls and email messages.