We live in a technological era where every piece of information is available to us on the go. Mobile devices have made data sharing smooth and access to a wide range of data much more relaxed.
Technology continues to advance with innovations arising to make communication more straightforward and convenient. The mobility of information access and communication has proven that we need our mobile devices to accomplish daily tasks. Accessories such as mobile phones, laptops, and other mobile devices have incorporated enhanced technologies that allow fast data transmission.
As much as we may enjoy using our portable devices for communication and information access, there are associated risks. Every time we use our mobile devices, we expose ourselves to various types of unseen threats. An increase in mobile device usage has brought about multiple threats that call for individual and corporate action.
What is Mobile Device Security?
Mobile security involves measures to protect sensitive information stored on various mobile devices. The data stored on our machines is vulnerable in many ways, such as falling into the wrong hands and used maliciously.
(Check out our previous post here on what you need to know about mobile security.)
Mobile security aims at preventing unauthorized access to private networks through user accounts or devices. The goal of mobile device security is to ensure that only allowed devices connect to a system and share particular information.
Mobile device security attacks helps grant specific privileges to devices or users accessing a network or database. It involves approaches that help to create and enforce policies that ensure crucial data is protected and prevent access to vital data and administrative rights.
How Mobile Security Threats Happen
There are various explanations of how mobile devices become exposed to multiple security threats. Here are some ways through which mobile devices become exposed to various security threats.
Most of the time, users are responsible for how they use mobile devices and share information. Mobile users may overlook some threats that may corrupt device and data integrity. Users also fail to familiarize themselves with mobile security threats and how to protect themselves.
As a result, mobile device users may tend to visit unsecured websites and install unknown applications. We may expose ourselves to cyber threats every time we use our devices due to negligence or lack of information.
Mobile security threats result in loss of valuable personal or corporate data. Data is lost by granting third-party access to our devices and installing unverified applications. The data may also be corrupted, making it useless for processing and acquire crucial information used for decision-making. This data may include personal information such as bank accounts and user details connected to a network.
Hackers may have malicious intentions and access a network with intentions of stealing sensitive data. As a result, they may develop viruses that cause damage to your device and reveal vulnerabilities in the network or systems.
Types of Mobile Security Threats
Mobile device security attacks may happen in various ways. Here are types of security threats that users should be aware of and know what we are dealing with.
These security threats occur as a result of vulnerabilities in the operating system or applications on the device. The vulnerabilities modify the application environment that allows hackers to have access to information stored on your device. An application may seem genuine to lure users into installation leading to data loss or corruption.
Hackers may access vital information stored on mobile devices through web-based applications or services. Because of this, web browsers may have vulnerabilities that may grant attackers administrative rights to web scripts and the mobile device. Malware may pose a legit web-based application or website that allows attackers to collect sensitive user information.
Mobile devices may be at risk through network connections. Attackers may decrypt the mobile network and gain unauthorized access. As a result, attackers may eavesdrop on user communication via the network. This means hackers can access network information and find a back door to mobile devices connected to the system.
All threats are not virtual, as attackers may try to gain access to information stored on various hardware. These attacks utilize vulnerabilities in the hardware that enable the exfiltration of info stored on mobile devices through multiple connection points.
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Examples of Mobile Security Threats
Viruses and Trojans
Trojan is an example of malicious software that depicts itself as an official app that grants administrative access to mobile devices. Viruses are malicious software that hides behind application codes that infect files and spread across the device
We can protect our devices by taking caution of the applications we install in our machines. It is also advisable to install antiviruses that help to detect and eliminate malicious apps and associated damages.
Connecting to open public networks exposes mobile devices to numerous threats. This way, attackers may access essential data from devices connected to the system. Users should avoid connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi connections that grant attackers access to mobile devices. Users may also opt to use a VPN that helps to mask the IP addresses before connecting to public Wi-Fi.
Attackers may disguise as genuine entities or organizations to acquire sensitive personal information. Users are required to key in their details such as usernames, passwords, other identification info, and bank details.
Users can avoid being phishing victims by being skeptical about sharing personal information. Avoid clicking on any links sent via emails and verify the identity of the sender. It would be best to set up extra security protocols such as multi-factor authentication. Also, it is imperative to back up data regularly to cushion against data loss.
No Password Protection
Mobile device security threats happen due to user gullibility. Users may leave their devices unprotected, thus allowing access by unauthorized parties. Devices and user accounts without passwords are more susceptible to attacks.
Users should take charge of their security by setting up strong passwords. The passwords should be changed regularly to ensure that sensitive data remains protected.
Attackers may come across devices lost by the users. They may then attempt to jailbreak into the device systems and access sensitive data. Mobile users should report to the administrator immediately after losing the devices and ensure that they are permanently locked. User should activate complete data wipes after losing the device.
Lack of end-to-end Encryption
Attackers may also snoop on their victims by “listening” to information transmitted across a network. We may think it’s safe to communicate when, in reality, we are not alone in the conversation. Attackers may spy on communications to acquire crucial information and user data.
Thus, mobile users should make use of applications that provide end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption encrypts data on the sender’s end and decrypts it on the receiver’s end. This way, only communicating users can view and read messages.
Mobile Device Security Starts with Us
User gullibility may take the blame for massive cases of mobile security threats. We should take measures to protect our information. The losses from security threats are substantial at a personal and corporate scale.
Thus, it calls for us to take the initiative to protect our mobile devices and our information. We can make use of security as a service in our businesses and personal lives. It begins with being conversant with the risks at hand and how best to avoid and tackle them.
Teamstack provides security solutions through tools that work by implementing multi-factor authentication and single sign-in. Teamstack provides other form-based options to help us secure personal data by preventing unauthorized access. Irrespective of the devices we use, it is imperative to extend security measures to our laptops, smartphones, and tablets.