June 09, 2023
Mobile malware is an ever-growing threat faced by businesses worldwide. Taking the necessary precautions to mitigate this risk is a must for any business looking to stay safe in the digital age. This article will provide steps for defending your business from this serious threat and offer best practices for achieving maximum security and profits.
At the beginning of 2022, researchers who study cybersecurity were very surprised to find out that the number of times malware attacked people's smartphones had increased a lot – by 500%. While this increase was due primarily to European nations, there were also increases around the world that was also significant. And no less worrisome because so many people do not take steps to make sure their phone is secure regardless of where they live or where they visit.
Mobile devices are very powerful and have many features similar to computers. The only difference is that mobile devices have smaller screens. Even though they are so alike, people usually take better care of their PCs than their smartphones regarding security.
Those who have yet to address this issue, should read this article and preferably conclude that it is in their best interest to resolve to correct the issue.
Statistics show that 60% of digital fraud originates from mobile devices, making them highly hazardous if security precautions are not taken seriously.
Shielding your smartphone should be just as crucial to you as protecting your computer. Many security steps apply to both, so it's time to start seeing your phone for what it is - a mini-computer - and keeping it secure!
Use These Tips to Improve the Security of Your Smartphone
Does Mobile Anti-Malware Help Prevent Intrusion?
Yes, your mobile phone needs antivirus/anti-malware too! Malware can and does infect smartphones and tablets. You need to ensure you have a reliable mobile anti-malware app installed. One of the following three recommendations will work well for most Android Smartphone users, with free and paid versions available.
Bit Defender Mobile Security for Android is an efficient paid anti-malware solution that protects users’ mobile devices and personal data. It provides complete real-time protection against malicious software, phishing attacks, ransomware, adware, and other unwanted programs. The app also includes continuous scans, web protection, and an app lock feature to block access to personal apps like banking or social media.
SOPHOS Mobile Security features an intuitive dashboard with in-depth security settings so users can tailor their experience to their needs. It includes a powerful antivirus engine that can detect the latest threats, as well as the ability to track down a lost or stolen phone. SOPHOS also offers Web Protection which blocks malicious websites before they even load on the browser.
Microsoft Defender for Android is a free anti-malware tool available to users of Microsoft 365 products that provides real-time protection against malicious threats and viruses. Its cloud-based threat intelligence helps update users' devices with the latest digital defenses. The app also includes anti-theft features such as remote device wipes and geolocation tracking, allowing users to find their lost or stolen devices easily.
What About Apple?
Apple products have free tools that generally provide good protection on individual phones and mobile devices.
Provide Education For Employees on Mobile Security
Employees should know the common security risks associated with their mobile devices and how to avoid them. Companies must ensure that employees follow best practices such as not downloading untrusted apps, updating their software regularly, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and avoiding public WiFi; encouraging employees to use a VPN while connecting to their corporate network can also help protect the data that they are sending and receiving. Companies should also provide regular training on mobile security best practices, as well as awareness of the latest phishing scams or malicious software infiltrating phones.
Protecting Mobile Devices on Business Networks
Business users should incorporate malware protection to all mobile devices that connect to their network as part of their endpoint protections. Advanced endpoint protection solutions offer comprehensive protection for mobile devices, allowing users to protect their data from malware and other security threats even when they are away from the office.
These solutions provide real-time scanning and monitoring of all mobile devices connected to the network, as well as data encryption and granular control over access rights. With these protections, businesses can rest assured that their sensitive data is safe from malicious threats.
Protect Your Personal Data or Work Network: Avoid Downloads from Unknown Sources
Only download mobile apps from trusted sources. Do not download outside a main app store. Trusted app stores include places like:
• Apple App Store
• Google Play
• The Microsoft Store
• Amazon Appstore
If you are working through a business network, you should not download any applications onto business-related mobile devices without specific authorization from the network administrator. If you discover that it is possible to do so, you should report this information to the network admin.
Beware of freebies. Many freebies are great for food, but not apps - and even some supposed security apps! Malware is frequently concealed within these types of software programs that claim to make you safer from hackers and other cyber threats. Don't let false promises fool you into risking your data's safety.
You also should research the app developer online. Make sure they have a good reputation. Once you download a dangerous app to your phone, it can infect it with malware. That malware can remain behind even if you delete the app later.
Don’t Assume Email is Safe
Email is a common way for malware to enter a device. If you do not have proper security precautions, malicious emails can contain executable code. This code can cause various types of software attacks when the email is opened.
People often use their phones to check their email because it is just easy. But people don't think of the security issues involved. Regardless of the device you open email on, there is potential for exposing both the device as well as the email network to attack.
Be careful with any email you get, even if you're using your phone. Some emails look like they are from a real person or company, but they are not. Scammers make these emails to try to trick you into giving them money or your personal information. Do not let them trick you!
Here lies a difficult problem: pictures or embedded links in emails often go unnoticed, and they can be hard to spot without clicking on them when using mobile devices. If you come across something dubious and desire to investigate the link further, open the email on your computer where this can be easier to spot, or better yet if it is questionable, don't open it at all.
Guard Yourself Against SMS Phishing (Smishing) to Stay Safe and Secure
SMS phishing, also known as "smishing," is a malicious technique used to gain access to personal information or financial accounts. Attackers use text messages that appear to be from legitimate companies or sources, often containing a link or an attachment. When clicked, this link or file can install malware on the user's device, allowing hackers access to sensitive data.
To protect yourself against smishing scams, be aware of suspicious texts and always verify the source by calling the company in question directly. Additionally, never click on unfamiliar links or download unexpected files. By taking these precautions you can stay safe and secure online.
In March of 2022, there was a 30% increase in text spam from the previous year. This is 10% higher than the number of robocalls, which are automated phone calls. A lot of these texts are scams known as smishing scams.
Vigilance is key when it comes to text messages. If something appears off, such as a shipping notification without having placed an order, take the extra time to investigate further and be wary of texts from unknown senders.
Here is a fun one! If you receive a text from the owner of your company asking you to send a check out to a vendor and you have never been contacted by nor even suspected that the owner even knew your phone number, that may be an indication that the text may actually be a "smishing" attempt.
Phishing attacks via SMS are increasing in frequency and many people remain unaware that these threats even exist - don't let yourself become their next victim!
Have You Used An App In The Last 12 Months? If Not, Get Rid of IT.
With over 2.6 million apps neglected for at least a year, it's no surprise that many developers give up on their applications when they realize how unprofitable they are. Unfortunately, this leaves your device vulnerable to potential security breach due to not having the most recent updates. Cybercriminals actively look for these loopholes to exploit, and if left unchecked they can become a menacing security risk.
Routinely examine your device for unused applications that need to be removed. Keeping such unnecessary apps on your system can leave it exposed and vulnerable. So don't waste any more time, go through your device now and delete anything you no longer use!
Further, take a look at when the last update occurred; if it’s been longer than 12 months, consider replacing that app with something more up-to-date. Regular updates often incorporate security features and other vital improvements - an absence of any for over a year isn't ideal!
Most Device Updates Are Created For Security Reasons, Don't Neglect Your Phone.
To safeguard your device and data, make sure you are consistently updating the operating system - whether it be Android or iOS. Neglecting to update can leave your phone exposed to security threats. Hackers capitalize on these vulnerabilities and use them as doorways for accessing confidential information. Keep those updates coming!
Streamline updates as much as possible by adding your devices to a managed IT services plan, especially if you manage multiple phones for your company.
Companies that permit the usage of mobile gadgets on their networks must establish a device management plan to keep track of both the age and update status of each device.
Mobile devices become outdated much quicker than traditional computer systems, making it necessary for them to be upgraded or replaced at a more frequent rate. To ensure maximum security and performance, companies should make sure they consistently check in with their device management plans and replace any aging mobile devices when necessary.
Use a VPN When on Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is dangerous. And while most people have heard that this is true, many connect to it out of convenience regardless of the potential hazard. You may worry about going over your data plan allotment. Or your mobile carrier reception may be slow. Both cases are reasons people opt to connect to unsecured public hot spots.
You can connect to public Wi-fi with less risk if you use a VPN application. VPNs stand between your device and the internet. They route your data through a secure server. This keeps it away from prying eyes that may be lurking on that public Wi-Fi.
VPN services don't have to cost an arm and a leg! They're often bundled with cell service plans or business IT support plans. This makes them ideal for workers who are based in remote locations, as part of managed services that take care of their specific needs.
Secure Your Data Now with Mobile Security Solutions to Avoid a Breach.
Don't let your phone become vulnerable to malicious software; act now with automated solutions that safeguard all of your device, accounts, and data.
If you don't have a business management company, you can typically reach out to your cell service provider to arrange to get some of these services provided to you through their service plans. Don't forget the malware app download and go through your applications that are not needed and attempt to delete those that are not needed.
If your company would like some assistance, we would be happy to have a chat with you.