Smartphone Security Risks We Should All Worry About
As part of our commitment to clients, SynchroNet technicians strive to stay on top of cyber security trends that affect not only business operations but also personal life. In the early days of SynchroNet, mobile security was not a priority, but that changed soon after companies such as Apple, BlackBerry, and Motorola began to explore the significant business potential of smartphones and other mobile devices. We all know what happened next: Smartphones quickly became ubiquitous, and they ended up becoming not only essential parts of our lives but also major security risks.
Let’s take a moment to think about all the information our smartphone holds right now. These are the the devices we use to conduct personal and business banking; they also hold intimate items such as family photos, social media activity, email messaging, call history, documents, and much more.
Once we start using our smartphones for work, they become more attractive to malicious hackers who see them as endpoints that can hold a virtual treasure trove of information.
There are hundreds of security threats and risks related to mobile devices, and quite a few of them have been specifically designed to target smartphones used for business purposes. Below you will find some of the most dangerous mobile threats impacting business users these days:
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
This is both a business trend and a mobile security risk. Mobility is good for business, but it can also be quite dangerous if you rush into it without taking the right IT security precautions.
On the surface, BYOD makes a lot of sense; after all, business owners can cut down on hardware expenses while letting employees use devices that they are more comfortable with.
Accessing an office network from an improperly secured smartphone, however, is fraught with multiple risks. SynchroNet clients know that our position on BYOD is that it should only be implemented after adopting certain security measures and practices.
Information security researchers have observed that we tend to let our guard down when it comes to smartphone interactions. Old school hackers who are proficient in extracting information directly from individuals are having the time of their lives with smartphones because of the various attack vectors they facilitate.
If hackers wish to steal the the username and password combination to your office network, they can try to do so by means of text messages, email messages, voice calls, voicemail messages, rogue websites, chat messages, or malicious apps.
Unsecured Wireless Networks
Anyone who uses smartphones or tablets for business purposes should be absolutely confident about the wireless networks they connect to. If you are on a business trip, for example, chances are that you will be looking for public WiFi networks so you can link up with the office.
The problem with this approach is that you can’t reasonably be confident about the connection unless you can determine who set it up. Do you know what kind of encryption is available? How do you know if the WiFi network has not been compromised by malicious hackers monitoring from afar?
You always want to avoid public WiFi networks you are not familiar with; if you have no other choice but to use them, you should look into a virtual private networking (VPN) solution for your business.
In the end, business mobility can be a double-edged sword unless you take the time to secure it. Before you start using smartphones for business purposes, the best course of action would be to consult with SynchroNet security specialists in order to make sure you do not run into any of the risks listed herein. Should you have any questions about smartphone security in the workplace, be sure to contact our office today.