Common Mobile Security Threats Organizations Face Today

Enterprise Security Magazine | Thursday, November 25, 2021

FREMONT, CA: Many firms prioritize mobile efforts since research indicates that increased mobility helps businesses enhance operations and productivity.

However, as organizational mobility rises, the number of mobile devices accessing the systems from a remote location often increases as well. And for security teams, this implies an increasing range of endpoints and threats to secure to safeguard the firm from a data breach.

Mobile security threats are frequently viewed as a unified, all-inclusive danger. However, the reality is that there are four distinct categories of mobile security threats from which enterprises must protect themselves:

Threats to the Security of Mobile Applications: Application-based risks occur when users download apps that appear to be legitimate but steal their device's data. For instance, spyware and malware take personal and business information without the user being aware.

Mobile Security Threats From the Web: Web-based risks are often invisible and go undiscovered. They occur when users browse infected websites that appear to be safe on the surface but automatically download dangerous material onto their devices.

Threats to the Security of Mobile Networks: Network-based risks are particularly prevalent and dangerous, as thieves can steal unencrypted data from users of public WiFi networks.

Threats to the Security of Mobile Devices: Physical dangers to mobile devices most frequently pertain to the device's loss or theft. Since hackers have direct access to the hardware that houses sensitive data, this threat is especially acute for enterprises.

The following are some most typical examples of these risks and the protective measures that companies can take.

Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks occur when malicious actors send bogus emails (phishing attacks) or text messages (smishing attacks) to the employees to fool them into divulging confidential information such as their passwords or downloading malware onto their devices.

Countermeasures Against Phishing Attacks

The best protection against phishing and other social engineering assaults is to educate staff on identifying suspect phishing emails and SMS messages and avoid falling for them entirely. Reduced access to sensitive data or systems can also help protect the company from social engineering attacks by reducing the number of access points attackers have to critical systems or information.

Public WiFi that is not secured

In general, public WiFi networks are less secure than private networks. There is no way to determine who set up the network, how (or if) it is encrypted, or who is actively accessing or monitoring it. Additionally, as more businesses provide remote work choices, the public WiFi networks used by the employees to access the servers (e.g., from coffee shops or cafes) may pose a security risk to the firm.

For instance, fraudsters frequently create artificial WiFi networks to intercept data passing through their system (a "man in the middle" attack).

Measures Against Risks Associated with Unsecured Public WiFi

The most effective strategy to safeguard any corporation against threats transmitted via public WiFi networks is to require employees to use a VPN while accessing company systems or files. This ensures that their session remains private and safe, even if they connect to the systems via a public network.

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