By: Jonas Gyllvensaan, CEO, SyncDog
The increasing sophistication of mobile device security threats is alarming. Individuals and businesses alike should be aware of security vulnerabilities of the mobile devices they use whether they are smartphones, tablets, laptops or other internet-enabled devices. Businesses that rely on employees using personal devices for business open themselves up to potential legal trouble if the data security and privacy standards of their business, industry and country are not met. The best course of action for perfecting your mobile security efforts in 2020 is knowing what threats to be on alert for and taking proactive steps towards securing devices.
Here are seven mobile security threats to be wary of in 2020:
Right off the bat, company leadership might be considering mobile security solutions from the perspective of just securing the mobile activities of employees. However, they should also think of themselves. Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report 2019 found that “executives were 12 times more likely to experience a social engineering incident.” Social engineering refers to leveraging information specific to the target of a cyberattack for the purpose of convincing the person the communication is legitimate.
Public Wi-Fi Networks
The average person might scoff at the idea of eating up their data plan when free Wi-Fi is accessible, but using that free network might be costly in other ways. This includes being exposed to man in the middle (MITM) attacks, malware, and spyware, to name a few hazards. Having your Whatsapp conversations or PayPal payments compromised can turn that free Wi-Fi into a huge headache. Yet, approximately 81% of people still opt to open themselves up to these threats for the sake of convenience.
2019 was not a shining year or security success for either Android or iOS. Just last month, Android announced one of its critical vulnerabilities to be “the most severe” of the three, as a hacker could take advantage and bar the user from having access to the device. Perhaps iOS’s most notorious vulnerability of 2019 was the discovery of the unpatchable exploit, Checkm8. Whether you are a die-hard Apple fan or are Android all the way, chances are your device was vulnerable at some point, maybe even right now.
Mobile security threats posed by apps often run parallel with OS discussions as Android stores and the Apple store face their own weaknesses when it comes to application security. Malicious or faulty apps continue to sneak through screening processes. According to ThreatPost, in September 2019 “a total of 172 malicious apps were detected on Google Play…with more than 330 million installations.” Harm from malicious apps runs the gamut from harmful adware to spam subscription prompts.
Perhaps the most commonly touted security threat of 2019 rolls over to 2020 – human error. Despite the gradual rise of mainstream media coverage of cybersecurity incidents (typically of well-known brands; ex: Capital One Data Breach) there still remains a lack of device security knowledge amongst the non-technical population. It is beneficial for individuals, on a personal and professional basis, to understand what common mobile security threats look like and how to determine their validity to prevent accidently allowing a threat actor access to a device or network.
SMS and Voice
Just as a phishing email can be disguised as legitimate communication, so too can a text message. Shortcodes are a popular means of this tricky tactic. With the accelerating momentum of voice control, hackers have yet another avenue to enter a system and wreak havoc. All it takes is a brief audio sample of a device owner’s voice for a hacker to simulate and leverage it.
More of a repercussion than an active threat, data loss is an incident that can sink even the most well-established company. It is estimated that around 70% of the workforce “either have or will experience data loss” and once a system is penetrated, the likelihood of recurrence is strong. This is a staggering percentage. Data loss prevention (DLP) will thus be an important component of any mobile security strategy for 2020.
The Best Mobile Security Threats Solution in 2020
Countless solutions in the mobile security marketplace fall short when it comes to taking a holistic approach to protecting against the array of threats that exist. While human error will always be an obstacle, our Secure.Systems containerized application provides an all-in-one solution for all other mobile security needs.
Instead of spending money on different solutions for MDM, EMM, DLP and AV, Secure.Systems is your one-stop-shop. Removing the decision to choose between increased security or increased productivity, it delivers a seamless mobile workspace protected through a FIPS 140-2 compliant, AES 256-bit encrypted application. Scalable for companies of all sizes, it is a cost-effective solution to your mobile threat defense needs and eliminates the hassle of dealing with multiple vendors.