An alarming increase in mobile malware is emerging as a major threat to business data and personal information.
Just as mobile security experts, including the FBI’s Cyber Crime Division, are getting better at identifying operating system vulnerabilities and detecting malware, virus and malware writers have invented new stealthy methods of distributing attacks, circumventing built-in security protection and exploiting operating system weaknesses.
Early recognition of mobile security threats is a company’s best line of defense. Here are the most prevalent 5 mobile security threats and how to stop them in their tracks:
FAKE APPS If one of your mobile users accidentally downloads a malicious app onto a mobile device it can spell disaster. Malware disguised as a popular mobile application can do a lot of damage, from taking control of a mobile device and running code from remote servers to tracking an owner’s location, which are both significant privacy and security concerns.
ROOT EXPLOIT ATTACKS Jailbreaking a mobile phone lets users install forbidden third-party applications and services not offered by the device’s manufacturer. But there’s a price to be paid for smartphone freedom. Because mobile operations systems are designed with built-in security, jailbreaking a mobile device compromises the security model of it operating system software and opens data to exploitation.
THE ZOMBIES ‘Zombies’ are smartphones that have been infected by a “bot” that can perform malicious activities under remote direction. Denial-of-service attacks, spam, unintended texting, calling premium phone numbers – they’re all signs that your smartphone is under the control of a botnet with a cyber criminal at the controls. The trouble is, bots are excellent at evading detection and can easily lurk in the shadows of your smartphone until it’s too late.
BOGUS ANTI-VIRUS APPS Android Antivirus, Android Defender, and MobileBot Antivirus are all fake Android anti-malware apps that look plausible and guarantee protection from viruses and spyware. But these fake apps are created by hackers to hijack your smartphone, collect its confidential data and trick you into paying to remove viruses that don’t actually exist.
DATA LEAKAGE one of the largest sources of data breaches are unsecured mobile devices. Smartphones, tablet PCs, laptops, and USB sticks are all technologies jam-packed with confidential and sensitive corporate information just waiting to be lost or stolen. What’s worse, many mobile users route traffic – unsecured data – from their iPad to their iPhone to DropBox and back again, without giving any thought to the potential for data leakages.
Fortunately, there are steps companies and mobile workers alike can take to avoid mobile threats, or at least minimize their damage.
1. Lock and load. Don’t just wipe or replace lost or damaged company-issued devices. Create an company-wide policy of locking devices, using passwords and activating location tracking services to quickly recover misplaced smartphones.
2. Shop reputably. There are plenty of app stores on the Internet, but independent app shops tend to be less regulated than those run by well-recognized tech ocmpanies like Google and Apple.
3. Deploy security software. Deploy an enterprise mobile security and management solution to better manage app rollouts, configure devices, gain greater visibility into the health of a mobile environment and seamlessly integrate employees’ own handheld devices into your IT environment.
Without a doubt, mobile threats are on the rise. But by knowing what to look for, and putting a few precautions in place, a company can ensure the safety of on-the-go data.
Hooks Systems of Wilmington, NC offers a wide range of network security services and assessments designed to keep your data safe and your company running smoothly.
Sources: Ziff-Davis, FBI