Mobile security is now firmly at the top of the security agenda – and it’s easy to see why. These days, most workers access corporate data and applications from their smartphones. This trend was already occurring before the pandemic. Still, today, it’s estimated that three-quarters use their smartphones for work matters – and that number is only going to increase as people continue to work from home

While mobile working is excellent for employee productivity and workplace flexibility, mobile devices are inherently less secure than corporate laptops. Mobile operating systems are more flimsy, and because mobiles are used on the move, they are exposed to more threats than a laptop that stays within the office’s four walls. 

To keep your company safe from mobile security threats, you need to know what you’re up against. Here is a list of the most common threats to be aware of. 

Social engineering 

Social engineering attacks occur when cybercriminals impersonate a trusted source – such as a well-known brand or even a colleague – as they communicate with their victim. The scam aims to get the victim to trust the impersonator and hand over sensitive details or click a malicious link.

In the world of work, social engineering attacks most commonly refer to phishing emails. On mobile phones, phishing remains an issue – but there’s also SMSishing to worry about.

With SMSishing, hackers send a fraudulent text to their recipient, usually containing a link. The link will load a fraudulent website, asking the victim to enter sensitive details. Most recently, we’ve seen SMSishing attacks that impersonate the World Health Organization and local government bodies. 

Malicious applications

Leading app stores are estimated to block around 24,000 malicious mobile apps every day. Cybercriminals design these apps. To the untrained eye, they look like regular applications – and will often impersonate well-known apps that people download by the masses.

However, unlike regular apps, malicious apps will deploy malware onto the user’s device once it is installed. This malware could potentially release ransomware or spyware and compromise your company data. 

Data leakage and theft

 If your employee loses a mobile device or it is stolen, all the data on it as risk – especially if the phone isn’t password protected! While this isn’t an attack in itself, a lost mobile device is a huge data security risk! 

Unsecured WiFi networks

Public WiFi is found everywhere – in airports, cafes, restaurants, hotels, and even retail stores! Public WiFi is appealing because it’s free and saves you from using your mobile data. Most people connect to public WiFi without a second thought. However, public WiFi can be a security risk. 

Hackers know that thousands of people use public WiFi – especially in restaurants, airports and cafes. As a result, we’ve seen the rise of fraudulent WiFi networks, which imitate public WiFi hotspots. These fraudulent networks will usually have similar names to the legitimate networks they want to spoof, making them difficult to spot. 

Once a user logins to the unsecured network, hackers can then launch a range of attacks. They can eavesdrop on the user’s session or even exploit any security vulnerabilities on the device to inject malware. 

How to keep your mobile users safe

With the myriad of mobile threats out there, it’s vital that you have a mobile security strategy in place. Otherwise, your employees’ mobile phones could be the weak link in your security posture. 

It’s important to take a holistic approach to mobile security that considers people, processes and technology. We advise our customers to rollout employee security training that educates your people on the risks of phishing, malicious apps and unsecured WiFi networks.

You should also put in place strict policies regarding passwords and PINs for mobile devices and workplace applications. This way, if your employee loses their device, your company data should remain safe. 

Another solution to consider is mobile device management. If you have given your employees cellphones for work purposes, then you can install MDM on their devices. This gives you deeper visibility and control over how your employees use their phones. You can, for example, block them from accessing unknown WiFi networks.

However, if your employees use their own devices for work, they may decline to have MDM installed. This is understandable, and there are other solutions you can use, such as data loss prevention and encryption. 

Putting in place a mobile security strategy takes time and careful planning – and our experts are on hand to do the hard work for you! We can build and manage your company’s security posture so that a mobile data breach never happens to you! 

Are Your Remote Workers Properly Protected?

Deploying a remote workforce doesn’t have to be a security nightmare. ECN IT Solutions can work with your team to ensure they’re using best cybersecurity practices.

We’re here to help you. Reach out at 520-355-7553 or through our