Industry analysts advise that all businesses, no matter how big or small, safeguard smartphones and tablets to protect themselves from imminent threats. Cyber criminals are continuing their conventional attacks on companies online, but there is a new area in consumer devices that needs to be secured within your business – smartphones and tablets.
More than ever before, people are bringing their devices to work with them (http://www.usainvestigators.com/byodsecurity.html), creating a new set of potential security issues in the workplace. While the efforts of the recent past have focused on securing computers and laptops, businesses today are becoming more aware of the need to secure mobile devices against cyber criminals. Android systems are especially troublesome, since they are open systems, but even Apple iOS devices have their own issues.
The mobile market has been through many changes, and the smartphones today are not simply phones – they are mini-PCs, and this makes them more vulnerable to those engaged in cyber crime.
Android phones are a preferred target for cyber criminals, since they do not yet have the checks in place to adequately safeguard the operating system. Someone can infect an Android by simply developing an app and marketing it.
Malware takes advantage of vulnerability, especially with devices that are newer to the market, and which feature fewer security measures. As security has become better at identifying malware, criminals have become better at hiding it.
Threats can become worse on platforms that have seen paid mobile apps hacked. A rootkit was developed in 2012 that attacks the platform of Androids. This can be downloaded within an app and then it can manipulate the device.
People buy smartphones for their features, not for security. Businesses are more wary of security threats than the people who own the phones and tablets themselves. Studies have been done of malware that affects Android devices, and this has helped some businesses to study security tools they can use to thwart hackers.
Security for smartphones and tablets requires that management be vigilant. There should be an ongoing budget for security, so that new threats can be assessed as time goes on. It is important to treat mobile devices as extensions of conventional desktops and make sure the operating systems are secured. After all, if you discover that someone can pick your locks, then you need better locks.
Industry observers have pointed out the need for new regulations and policies, and businesses need to strictly adhere to them. Mobile usage among private and government sectors can now be monitored, and chief information officers need to be held accountable for thwarting attacks.
Company by company, people need to be placed in charge of developing plans to secure mobile devices and to get rid of malware, if it is detected. Employees who use their devices at work may not be concerned about security. This makes it even more important for businesses to stay ahead of the game when it comes to keeping unwanted intruders out, and in limiting damages when attacks cannot be prevented.
If mobile security is an area of concern for your business or organization, give us a call today and one of our security professionals will discuss the state of your mobile-readiness within the organization.