There is no question that the arrival and consistent progress of mobile technology has greatly elevated our ability to conduct business. From a productivity and operational point of view, taking full advantage of mobile technology makes perfect sense, but this effort can backfire if mobile security risks and threats are not properly addressed.
When you use a smartphone for business purposes, there are four main threats you should be aware of:
* Malicious mobile apps.
* Web browsing risks.
* Poor device security.
* Network-level attacks.
The smartphone security tips listed below address each of the main threats:
Only Install Apps From Trusted Sources
At SynchroNet, we see security issues that could have been averted with a simple security measure such as limiting mobile app installations from platforms such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Huawei Gallery, Amazon, and the Opera Mobile Store. If you choose to install apps from outside of these trusted sources, you would be putting the information within your smartphone at risk.
There have been reports about Google Play apps being compromised with malicious code; for this reason, it is a good idea to use a malware scanner for mobile operating systems. In some cases, the subscription you pay for a desktop or network security suite can be extended to your smartphone, and this will provide app screening.
Beware of Website Links Sent Over Email and Text Messages
Phishing and social engineering attacks tend to be amplified through mobile technology. We tend to be more impulsive and trusting when we use our smartphones, and this is something that hackers are very well-aware of.
A classic phishing attack conducted over Simple Messaging Service (SMS) involves sending text messages that appear to come from your bank; the gist of the message is that your online banking account has been compromised for some reason, and that you should take immediate action by tapping on a link that actually takes you to a malicious website where your username and password are snagged. A variation of this attack was applied by a Russian cybercrime group link to the Kremlin in order to breach the email servers of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Secure browsing is certainly possible on mobile devices, if you are interested in the best protection for your business smartphone, please contact SynchroNet today so we can discuss your options.
Increase the Physical Security of your Mobile Devices
The first thing we should all do when setting up new smartphones or tablets is to spend an adequate amount of time in the security settings and configuration panel. The worst thing you can do is to trust the default lock screen gesture and leave it as is. If your device does not have a fingerprint reader, you should set up a PIN code or a complex pattern for unlocking. Make sure your PIN code does not match personal information such as birthdays or social security numbers.
You will want to go through each and every security option, particularly the ones that allow you to map the location of your device in case it is lost or stolen; all the same, you should activate the ability to remotely lock your smartphone or activate a data encryption routine.
Use a Strong VPN
The best way to prevent network-level attacks on mobile devices is to only use trusted connections. Staying away from public Wi-Fi networks is the obvious advice in this regard, but you can make things safer with the convenience and protection that virtual private networking can provide. Managers at law firms that handle sensitive and confidential information would never allow anyone to connect to the office network without going through a VPN, and this is the kind of security you should strive for.