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Gone are the days when the biggest security threats were found on computers. Nowadays, because of the population of smartphones and tablets, the target is now towards mobile phones. 

The issues of mobile security have turned the biggest names in every industry into nothing but preys for cybercriminals and hackers. 

Almost 60% of devices used in interacting with corporate data are mobile, according to Zimperium, and the percentage isn’t going down anytime soon. 

Therefore, enterprises need to be on guard if they are going to ever win this battle, as security threats pose great risk to the important data needed to keep their business running.   

Their unique approach to counter these mobile security attacks starts with identifying security loopholes making corporate data vulnerable and developing proven systems that oppose these security breaches and loopholes. 

In this article, Hanna Schnaider itemizes the major security threats affecting enterprises and how to combat them. Read more about her here.

Common Mobile Security Threats

Before anyone can begin to create strategic approaches toward conquering these security threats, it’s important to know that they are not all-encompassing threats. Rather, they are subdivided into:

  • Application-based Threats. These are threats that naturally look reasonable and captivating but are designed to capture data from their mobile devices. For instance, spyware and malware steals personal and business data from the user’s devices.
  • Web-based Threats. These threats are found when you visit affected websites. They appear to be without threats on the front-end, but they automatically download malicious content on your devices.
  • Physical Threats. When someone loses their devices and cybercriminals access their private data, this can result in physical threats.
  • Network Threats. This happens while people use public Wifi networks.

The following are common combination of these mobile security threats

Malicious Apps

“Enterprises face a far greater threat from the millions of generally vulnerable apps on their employees’ devices than from mobile malware,” explains Dave Jevans, CEO and CTO of Marble Security.

It’s important to know that the vast majority of security breaches through malicious apps are a result of the carelessness of many employees. 

As more and more corporate and mobile devices are being used to store corporate data, the number of malicious apps is also on a high increase. 

For instance, when an employee downloads apps from Google Play, they are required to consent with a list of permissions which most times requires access to files and folders on their mobile device. 

But most often many employees quickly get down to the bottom of the page and agree to these terms and conditions without even realizing the risks this could attract. 

This lack of patience and cautiousness leaves devices vulnerable to mobile threats that could harm the enterprise’s corporate data. 

How to fix this: Enterprise should educate their employees on the risks attached to not reading the permissions and should be advised not to download any apps whose list of permissions are somewhat evasive. 

Phishing Attacks

A recent report from Zimperium explains that the outbreak of the coronavirus has led to a great increase in phishing attacks and the target is now directed towards mobile devices. 

The fact that many people are now working from home and spending time on their mobile devices without taking necessary precautions is exactly what cybercriminals are leveraging to deploy their scheme. 

According to a report from FireEye, 91% of cybercrime begins with emails. This can be tricky as they tend to rely on such tactics as impersonation to make people click dangerous links. 

Mobile phone users need to maintain necessary cautions as they are three times more likely to respond to phishing attacks, according to IBM, because most people likely check their emails on their mobile-first before switching to other devices. 

How to fix this. A study conducted by Google, UC San Diego, New York University shows that on-device authentication can curb 90% of targeted attacks and 99% of bulk phishing attacks. 

Additionally, implementing mobile-specific training together with using selected phishing detection software are great ways to ensure employees are not the next phishing victims. 

Data Leakage

According to IBM, having remote-based employees can increase the cost of data breaches by almost $137,000. 

Data leakage is often a result of employees making wrong decisions about the apps that are often allowed to see their transfer information. 

Most of the time, employees who access corporate networks from their mobile devices don’t only put the enterprise data at risk but their private information may also be affected along the line. 

It’s essential to know that corporate data is as important to cybercriminals as it is to enterprises and companies should therefore make necessary decisions to seal every loophole including data leakages. 

How to fix this. There are few options available to prevent data leakages, one of which is to turn to mobile threat defense (MTD) solutions. Examples of these solutions include products like CheckPoint’s Sandblast Mobile, Zimperium’s zIPS Protection, and Symantec’s Endpoint Protection. They primarily scan apps for any “leaky behavior” and automate the halting of problematic systems. 

Improper Password Protection

Yes, this sounds like a no-brainer but you’ll be amazed to know that almost 34% of people don’t even password on their mobile devices, according to Android Authority. 

These numbers include employees from various enterprises with business data on their devices. Once their phones get lost, thieves can easily access stored important data and use it against the organization. 

Some, however, who go through the effort of creating passwords fall flat by either using generic and easy-to-guess passwords like “1234” or “0000” or even use their birth dates for securing their devices. This careless attitude of employees gives cybercriminals easy access to enterprise corporate data. 

Study by Verizon also found that weak or stolen passwords accounts for 80% of hacking-related issues in enterprise. 

How to fix this. It’s important that you set clear standards for accessing data via mobile devices. For instance, you could lay out password standards for every employee or require two-factor authentication before anyone can access internal tools. 

Wrapping Up

Businesses should take adequate steps towards mobile security threats by reviewing their online security schemes. 

Before setting any policies, it’s important to understand the loopholes and how employees use corporate mobile devices on public networks. 

By doing this and implementing the recommended measures described above, you can secure your business against mobile security threats. 

Furthermore, you can identify security loopholes by hiring software professionals such as Forty Seven Software Professionals Our trained experts can quickly identify any breach before cybercriminals siphon important data.