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- Understand mobile security threats
- Mobile phone threats to watch out for
- Mobile phone security tips
- What can companies do to implement mobile security?
Reading time: ~8 minutes
A greater vulnerability is associated with technological advancement, especially with our mobile phones, and it has been faced with various cybercrime. As a result of when you have an abundance of personal and other information on your phone, your phone becomes the target, and when the bad guys step up their efforts to infiltrate it, the good guys step in to keep the bad guys out.
You’ve probably read a lot about hackers and your computer security, but for some reason, most people don’t really care about smartphone security.
Maybe because it has nothing to do with a traditional hard drive where you store all your documents, photos, videos, etc., but today’s hyperactive smartphone users store a lot of information, which is very sensitive. And that others, like hackers, would like to take it while surfing the internet at Starbucks.
Understand mobile security threats
After our mobile phones, the attackers want to take control of it to mine cryptocurrencies with our mobile processing chips or integrate them into botnets. They’re looking for our identities and accounts that they can steal and sell for just pennies and thousands. Thieves can hijack our mobile wallets and financial information.
Mobile security threats include theft of corporate network credentials. In fact, mobile phishing attacks, which use text and email to trick recipients into clicking malicious URLs, increased by 85% over the past year.
Mobile phone threats to watch out for
Unfortunately, there are many types of mobile security threats. Cybersecurity professionals are regularly made aware of new attacks. The list below is some of the most common:
Web-based mobile threats
Mobile websites can download malware onto our mobile phones without our permission or knowledge. Phishing is a common way for an attacker to click links to mobile threat websites. For example, a hacker could set up a website that looks legitimate (e.g., our banking page) to collect our credentials.
What can we do about web-based mobile threats? Security software installed on our phones can help identify malicious websites and phishing attempts. It is also worth being very careful and attentive. For example, the IRS will never send an email requesting our tax information. (They only use the US Postal Service.) An email referring to an IRS website is almost guaranteed to be a scam.
Based on research and reports, it is stated that cybercriminals also create malicious apps that we download or even buy. Once installed, these apps can steal our personal information on our phones or spend our money on our tap-and-pay apps. It is recommended that you carefully review fees and purchases.
Updating mobile software also protects against malicious apps, as phone manufacturers regularly update their software to fix the vulnerabilities these apps have exploited. The aim is to protect information stored or accessed about the phone (including personal data, social accounts, documents, credentials, etc.).
These malicious actors sometimes even hide in well-known and useful free apps that exploit vulnerabilities or use certain permissions and then download the malicious aspect to the phone. If an application requests these permissions, it is justified to use them.
Mobile phones are often connected to at least two networks. Sometimes, this generally includes mobile phone connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Any of these connection points can be exploited by hackers to obtain a phone, trick the user, or break into a corporate network.
For example, Wi-Fi spoofing is a threat where an attacker pretends to be accessing an open Wi-Fi network, tricking users into logging in and then sniffing sensitive data processed by that network. It is recommended that you turn off any antennas you are not using and ensure that your security settings are configured to prevent unauthorized Wi-Fi access.
Mobile phones are small and easy to steal. Without adequate security measures, a stolen mobile phone can be regarded as a treasure trove of personal and financial information for a crook. To minimize physical threats to mobile phones, you should set strong passwords and configure the phone to lock when it is not in use. Anti-theft tracking software can also recover a lost phone.
Fortunately, mobile phone security is becoming more and more important, and you can take various measures to keep your smartphone from being hacked. The same steps you take to protect your computer can also protect your mobile phone.
Mobile phone security tips
Avoid jailbreaking or rooting your mobile phone.
If you really know what you’re doing and are jailbreaking or rooting your phone for fun and pleasure, that’s good for you, but if you want to because you heard about it on the news and you want it to be “free” of restrictions and limitations, you need to avoid the process entirely.
First, it can damage your phone and cause you more heartache than happiness. Lastly, the user might not be allowed to update their mobile phone with the latest operating system updates because it is in an unsupported mode.
Yes, you can install some apps and adjust settings. However, it does mean that you are downloading apps that may also contain malware. This problem already occurs with Android because the App Store content is not as restrictive as with Apple.
Be careful with the apps you install
This is especially important on Android phones. Google recently deleted 50,000 suspicious, malicious applications. Apps with malware, viruses, or other sneaky software are sure to steal your data or damage your phone.
Apple reviews every app before it’s listed in the store and periodically removes apps from the store that violate store policies.
It’s fine if you hate Apple, but the point is, if you have an Android phone, you need to be extra careful when downloading apps. Check the reviews, see if they have a website, search Google for the app name, etc.
Use a passcode anywhere.
Whether you have an Android phone or an iPhone, you can prevent your phone access by adding an Android password or lock pattern. This simple security measure can prevent confidential information from being seen by others.
This is especially important if you have installed multiple apps that store personal information, such as B. Finance apps (Mint, banking apps, etc.), journal apps (DayOne), and note-taking apps (Evernote), etc. From these apps like Mint and DayOne, you can add a password, especially for this app, which I always use and the password to protect the home screen.
The home screen password is important as many email apps (Mail on iPhone and Gmail on Android) won’t even encrypt your email. Email can contain a lot of private information. Since most people go to parties with their mobile phones on tables and counters, it is straightforward for someone to look around.
Protect your iCloud and Google accounts
The second thing most people don’t realize is that someone who can access your iCloud or Google account can access a lot of data to create and edit from your smartphone. During this time, two-step verification must be activated for these two accounts.
It is important to secure your Apple ID because it controls access to all of the Apple services currently exist, from iTunes to iCloud, FaceTime to iMessage, etc. If someone can access your Apple ID, it can destroy your Apple life, including deleting it. Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac remotely.
It’s pretty much the same problem with Google. Your Google account basically connects you to all Google services from YouTube to Gmail, including Google Play, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Picasa and Google+, etc.
Use an app instead of the browser.
If you do phone banking, stock trading, or anything else that carries sensitive information between your phone and the internet, use an official app for that website or company rather than open it up on the internet. With your phone’s browser.
For example, Chase, Bank of America, Vanguard, ScottTrade, Mint, and many other major financial institutions have their own iOS and Android apps. However, you are a little more secure when you get an official app with additional security features.
Control what an app can access
There’s a good chance you’ve seen the following message on your iPhone a hundred times: There are all kinds of messages that AppName wants to access. The data can be photos, locations, contacts, etc. etc. Always be careful and don’t click OK all the time. If you keep clicking something, it’s best to choose “Don’t Allow.” If you really can’t use the app later, you can edit it manually to allow access. Most of these requests are very legitimate and harmless, but you’d better be careful.
It’s even worse on Android as some apps ask for permissions to everything, even if they don’t need them. This Lifehacker article shows you how to protect yourself from Android apps that are using too many permissions. There are many more permissions on Android than on iOS. So if you are an Android user, you need to be more careful here too.
Update the OS
Just as you need to keep installing Microsoft security updates for your PC, it’s a good idea to get the latest updates for your smartphone. You can wait a few days and ensure that the update doesn’t have any major issues like decreased battery life, etc. However, if nothing comes out, update the update on the phone.
Aside from updating the operating system, it is also a good idea to update the apps installed on your mobile phone because the updates might contain new features even though many are for bug fixing, performance updates, and security updates.
What can companies do to implement mobile security?
Companies that make mobile phones available to their employees or use their personal phones for work must first establish strict security measures. The risks are too high for IT departments and CISOs to view mobile security as a secondary priority. Based on our experience working with companies in the field of mobile security, we recommend that you take the following steps:
Establish a clear policy for mobile use
Mobile phones should be included in organization-wide security guidelines. Mobile security policies ideally cover acceptable usage, anti-theft measures, mandatory security settings, and more. The policy framework should include monitoring compliance and addressing deficiencies.
Segment data and apps on corporate phones
It is recommended to divide mobile users into role-based groups with different access levels. This reduces the exposed surface area if a phone is compromised. Application segmentation also prevents users from installing unwanted software that can infiltrate your network.
Encrypt and minimize the visibility of phones accessing the corporate network
When a phone is compromised or stolen, it is best if the malicious user cannot easily access the data on the phone. The trade-in of a mobile phone should not become free access to the company network. To achieve this goal, mobile phones, and users’ identities must be incorporated into a comprehensive IAM (Identity and Access Management) system.
Install security software on mobile phones
This is a basic but essential countermeasure. All technical team experts should treat mobile phones as any other piece of hardware in the corporate network.
Monitor user behavior
Mobile users are often unaware that their phones are compromised or how they sometimes put themselves at risk. Monitoring user behavior can reveal anomalies that could indicate an ongoing attack. Also, automated monitoring is critical to ensure that your company’s mobile security guidelines are not violated.
Build awareness of mobile security through training
People are used to consumer-type freedoms on mobile phones. It is a wise policy to raise awareness of the security risks for businesses associated with mobile technology. Security education programs should cover the topic of protecting mobile phones, the activities that go with their corporate phones (and those that are not), and the day-to-day practices they can implement to avoid being a victim of common threats.
As hackers continue to target mobile phones, it is time to take phone security and mobile security threats seriously. Mobile phones are just as, if not more, vulnerable than personal computers and other types of computer hardware. You are exposed to threats in the form of malware, social engineering, web attacks, network attacks, and physical theft.
Be someone with a plan, whether you’re responsible for a company’s security or want to protect your own phones. Start with awareness training and strict safety guidelines, then move on to more technical countermeasures to minimize the risk.
What is mobile phone security?
Mobile phone security is about defending mobile phones against various cyberattack methods that compromise user privacy, network credentials, finances, and security. It contains several technologies, controls, guidelines, and best practices. Phone security protects us from all kinds of mobile security threats.
What are mobile security threats?
A mobile security threat is a vehicle for cyberattacks that targets mobile phones such as smartphones and tablets. Much like a hacking attack on a corporate PC or server, a mobile security threat exploits the vulnerability of mobile software, hardware, and network connections to activate malicious and unauthorized activity on the target phone.
Thank you for reading!