Most businesses recognize that cyber security is a major talking point today, with the prospect of breaches leaving smaller organizations especially exposed to serious operational ramifications. This is especially true for businesses using IoT.
What gets overlooked in this conversation is the vulnerability of portable devices, so just how worried should modern companies be about mobile hacking, and what can they do to avoid it?
This year alone there has been a 500 percent rise in malware targeting mobile devices, with this malicious code designed to do everything from stealing private data to spying on all sorts of other activities that users get up to from day to day.
Many infections occur after third-party applications are installed from unofficial app stores, with Android being the most frequently impacted by this type of attack as a result of its more lax attitude to user control and its open-source nature.
Apple phones are also in the firing line, so there’s no room for complacency regardless of where your loyalties lie.
Likewise, there’s a risk posed by IoT devices which are connected to business networks. And if companies do have sensitive data compromised in an attack, they not only risk regulatory reprisals and reputational damage, but also the steep costs associated with recovering from hacks.
In spite of all this doom and gloom, there’s good news regarding mobile hacking in that steps to secure valuable information contained on portable devices can be taken, including:
Installing security and privacy software
With the help of the likes of Certo’s solutions for mobile privacy, businesses can stop potential attacks at the earliest possible stage, and also scanning devices for potential infections.
Making sure employees are up to speed with best practices
Regardless of the security systems you put in place, they can all be rendered redundant by one mistake made by a careless or ill-informed employee.
The answer is to ensure that you’ve got good best practices for business mobile use in place, and that team members are trained to adhere to them at all times.
Encompassing personal device use
For some businesses, it makes sense to embrace a bring-your-own-device culture, with employees allowed to use personal smartphones in the course of their working day.
However, that doesn’t mean it can be a free-for-all. You need to take security seriously, and doubly so if non-business devices are in the mix.
Setting parameters for use, requiring that security software is installed, and even using a mobile device management platform to give you a degree of control over employee handsets will minimize the risks involved.
Backing up mission-critical data
Mobile devices can be a single point of failure if they’re used to store data which is not backed up elsewhere. A malware infection or hack might render this info inaccessible, so backing it up regularly and remotely is a must.
You can take charge of backup in your own way with in-house servers, or make use of the cloud to synchronize and save files across disparate devices.
Ensure network access is restricted and monitored
It’s not just mobile devices which are vulnerable in their own right, but also your in-house business systems which are hooked up to the same network they share.
Using secure passwords for Wi-Fi, having a separate access point for employees and customers, and monitoring network traffic for suspicious activity will give you the edge over cyber criminals.
The short answer is that mobile hacking does pose a threat to businesses, but they have the tools and the opportunities to prevent attackers from succeeding in their nefarious aims; they just have to choose to use them.
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