Data security on mobile devices
What is mobile security?
Mobile security is said to be the measures taken to protect critical and sensitive information on modern smart applications like smart phones, laptops, tablets, wearables etc. At the core of mobile security, the main goal is to keep unauthorized access away from the users from gaining access to network.
Data security areas in mobile platform
When security on mobile platforms is discussed, there are many areas to consider about the security. These areas include, the security of applications on mobile device, the security of data coming into the device coming from cloud and data coming flowing out of the device from any other platform or device. The case where the application security is tackled includes security from malicious codes being injected into the application when the app is connected to the internet, or maybe some built in malicious codes. One area of mobile security is to analyze and find out the loopholes from where the applications on mobile devices have security threats. In the second case, where the data is coming from the Cloud, the security issues are born where the data is kept in the cloud. In the third area where the data has a security threat is when the data is coming from another platform or device. It can be a computer sending SMS to a mobile or any other device sending an SMS to the device. Communication can be cloud based or is conventional messaging service powered by Telco’s.
Why is mobile security important?
Mobile secure is important to thwart of potential threats like malicious mobile apps, data leakage, phishing scams, spyware, identity theft and many others.
From enterprises point of view, if an employee loses his or her mobile, they have to account for the loss. To avoid such circumstances, companies should take a clear stance on mobile security and risk management.
Benefits of mobile security
Mobile device security provides the following benefits:
A uniform Security policy enforcement. The entire organization adheres to a unified policy for security of mobile devices.
Automated device registration
Support of “bring your own device” (BYOD), thus effective for companies and their employees
Data backup that comes in handy in case of data loss
Convenience with Remote control of device updates
Common mobile data security threats and vulnerabilities:
Presented here are a few of the many popular Mobile threats or threats that arise from Mobiles that are prevalent in the modern cyberspace:
1. Phishing Attacks
According to a survey, around 78 percent of the cyber espionage incidents in 2019 were related to phishing. This means that phishing has become one of the prime ways of how cyber-attacks are carried out. Many applications residing in the cloud and mobiles are also effected by phishing attacks like the recent Azure AD attack to attain Microsoft employees credentials during the pandemic.
2. IoT Devices:
IoT is a new technology that is gaining popularity. Mobile security also refers to IoT devices security. Like other technologies, every new technology can be exploited with its existing weaknesses. Same is the case with IoT devices. Since the business of IoT devices is growing drastically, more and more people are becoming vulnerable to threats. For these devices, there is a much larger attack surface. It is becoming extremely difficult to develop such strategies that can keep up with the fast paced development of new IoT devices. Managed Security providers can cater these issues.
3. Mobile Malware:
All the personal or business data is being transferred to mobiles nowadays because it is portable and the whole data is inside the pocket. In the recent years, many people who used to work on laptop and desktops have shifted their work or data, to their mobiles and smartphones. Cybercriminals have created Mobile Malwares to gain access of the data stored in mobiles. This hacking technique can be the most prominent one in the future because everyone is moving their business to mobiles. It is dangerous software that is created to take control of the sensitive data stored in mobile phones.
4. 5G to WiFi Security Vulnerabilities:
5G network is newly launched in many companies and it is being extensively used by the companies. But to save bandwidths, some wireless carriers are transferring calls and data to Wi-Fi. cybercriminals can easily gain access of the stored data not only through devices but they have techniques to take the control through communication networks, which include WiFi, 5G networks etc. Many mobile vulnerabilities have been found during this procedure of transferring from 5G to WiFi. Hackers are able to exploit such weakness in the software that are used in the transferring process of data and call from 5G to WiFi. Such software must be made strongly secured to protect the sensitive data as provided by Cybersecurity consulting services.
5. Application Programming Interface (API) Vulnerabilities and Breaches:
As the companies are being dependent on API, cybercriminals have invented API-based attacks, which can lead to hostile impacts on frequently used apps and social media. Application Programming Interface (API) is widely being used because using it, data and services can be widely broadcasted and consumed over mobile devices. By this, cloud-native threats can occur which would lead to the loss of sensitive data, owned by the companies and users.
How to enforce Mobile security?
1. Enforce a Password policy
2. Avoid Public Wifi’s
3. Deploy Mobile Device Encryption
4. Establish a security policy with clear directions
5. Ensure endpoint security
6. Ensure Email security
7. Make use of VPN and VPN encryption
8. Deploy a secured web gateway
9. Take services from a Cloud access security broker.
The trend of remote working and work for home has drastically increased during the pandemic. Mobile phones are now essentially used for remote working and communication. Remote workers or on-site employees, both are a basic asset of any company or business. Mobile security needs to be catered for in order to keep the data protected and to keep it away from falling into wrong hands.
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