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Safeguard Your Messages: Learn About Secure Communications 

Secure mobile Communications: Protecting your biggest asset

Businesses are now doing more of their activities online, and secure communication is now more crucial than ever. Instant messaging systems are a genuine game changer. Although, organisations must carefully manage the security risks and challenges they bring in order to remain secure and compliant. 

News of spyware attacks like Pegasus, threat actors like phishing attacks, and nation-state actors continue to keep IT and security professionals on their toes in regards to mobile security. Organisations in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries have paid billions in fines as a result of regulatory infractions involving mobile messaging systems. 

Teams in charge of security and risk management must decide whether to prohibit these mobile messaging apps or to accept their shadow use and associated risk exposure. Secure messaging apps, on the other hand, assist in resolving these problems. Therefore, by providing a way to embrace a secure communication solution that powers modern business while remaining safe and compliant is the safest and increasingly becoming the only way forward.

Top mobile security risks in 2023

Mobile messaging apps are at risk from a wide range of online dangers. Cybercriminals use a variety of methods to take advantage of mobile apps, including ransomware, malware, social engineering, mobile interception and identity theft. 

Social engineering & Phishing 

The term “social engineering” is used to describe a wide range of malevolent behaviours carried out through interactions with other people. Users are duped into divulging critical information or committing security blunders via psychological manipulation.

Attacks by social engineers may involve one or more steps. To prepare for an assault, a perpetrator first looks into the target in order to learn background details like probable points of entry and lax security measures. The attacker next makes an effort to win over the victim’s trust and offer incentives for later security-breaking activities, such disclosing confidential information or allowing access to vital resources.

Phishing scams, one of the most common forms of social engineering attack, are email and text message campaigns designed to make victims feel rushed into making a decision. Then it prompts people to divulge private information, click on links to nefarious websites, or open attachments that are infected with malware.

Malware & Ransomware

A form of software known as ransomware prohibits you from accessing your computer or the data that is kept there. It’s possible for the computer to lock up or for the information on it to be destroyed, encrypted, or stolen. Additionally, certain ransomware, like the Wannacry malware that affected the NHS in May 2017, would attempt to spread to other computers connected to the network.

All it takes to download malware or ransomware is a single click on a link. And criminals are getting better at creating innocent-looking URLs that entice users. It is now possible to expertly insert malware with a variety of avenues via consumer messaging apps, including money, credentials, and even cryptocurrency, into seemingly innocent files.

You should prepare for the possibility that malware or ransomware will infect your organisation at some point so you can take action to lessen the effects and hasten your response.

Insider risks & Data loss

An insider is a person who has access to the information of an organisation. While this can also apply to anyone who has access to hard copies of data that have been left on printers or in unlocked filing cabinets, from the perspective of data loss prevention, the emphasis is on authorised users who have access to sensitive electronic data. 

Here is a quick review of how data loss and insider dangers have impacted businesses over the past few years:

  • Over the last two years, there has been a 44% spike in insider threat occurrences, costing over $15M each.
  • 66% of companies think that insider attacks are more likely to happen.
  • Insider threats affect over 34% of businesses globally every year.

Insiders frequently have complete access to your company’s internal operations. As a result, they would be better equipped to access sensitive information and also understand how to use the system. One careless employee or one dishonest actor is all it takes for a hostile attack to be launched against the network of your company. Given that insider attacks are frequently unpredictable and challenging to thwart, they can be very hard to detect. 

Mobile Interception

You might have realised that standard mobile phone calls also involve wireless technology. What prevents that from being hacked as well? Nothing (unless you use a secure communications system). In truth, there are a variety of tools that may be used to eavesdrop on mobile phone communications and perform denial-of-service assaults to halt call transmissions. Some people can listen in on calls as well.

IMSI catchers, like the StingRay, are typically utilised by law enforcement organisations, however they can also be purchased illegally for criminal purposes. They can operate as a false mobile network tower, causing any phones within a specified range to connect to it automatically.

What happens when your organisations mobiles aren’t safeguarded 

Regulatory risks & Compliance 

Businesses in highly regulated sectors such as financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies must put forth a lot of effort to maintain compliance. Regulations place strict restrictions on how companies can interact with customers. For instance, guidelines for communicating adverse occurrences and off-label use are found in pharmacovigilance laws. 

Certain financial products cannot be discussed because of financial regulations. Just last year US regulators fined 15 banks and financial institutions $1.1 billion for “pervasive off-channel communications” along with “widespread” failure to preserve any records of their communications.  Companies must be able to monitor all such interactions and act quickly and securely in real-time as necessary if they want to remain compliant. 

Lack of visibility amongst your workforce

On mobile messaging apps, tens of thousands of messages are frequently sent and received each month. However, the teams in charge of making sure that these messages don’t pose any security or compliance problems are unable to comprehend the majority of them. Simply put, they have little to no access to the information.

Security and risk teams are consequently in a losing situation, they can attempt to restrict using these mobile messaging apps. However, this decision is impractical and detrimental to firms in the increasingly globalised digital environment if not taken seriously company wide. 

The benefits of securing your communications 

Secure communication systems reduce the risk of GDPR non-compliance while maintaining high levels of employee engagement, in contrast to consumer-facing messaging apps where your personal data is surrendered for the free use of the app.

All communications through a secure communications system such as Salt Communications is encrypted, and no data is kept on our network. Salt also has a service that lets you set up a system that can listen to all users inside your company while also allowing administrators to monitor and record communications for specific individuals who need to be under constant watch. With this service, Salt Communications assists your company in defending itself against legal actions like lawsuits, government inquiries, or Freedom of Information Act requests.

In order to maintain security and compliance while giving businesses complete control over their communications infrastructure, Salt has worked with numerous industries throughout the world. At Salt we feel it is more crucial than ever from a data security standpoint to distinguish between public and private messaging platforms and to think about how to safeguard your messages using solutions that give your workers better and more secure team communication capabilities.

If you require any additional assistance, please contact our experts for more information at info@saltcommunications.com or to sign up for a free trial of Salt Communications or to speak with a member of the Salt Communications team.

Discover why your organisation should consider Salt as a secure communications method. 

About Salt Communications 

Salt Communications is a multi-award winning cyber security company providing a fully enterprise-managed software solution giving absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. Salt Communications offers ‘Peace of Mind’ for Organisations who value their privacy, by giving them complete control and secure communications, to protect their trusted relationships and stay safe. Salt Communications is headquartered in Belfast, N. Ireland, for more information visit Salt Communications.

References:

https://www.makeuseof.com/protect-crypto-wallet-echelon-malware/

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3619011/the-10-most-dangerous-cyber-threat-actors.html

https://portswigger.net/daily-swig/microsoft-report-unmasks-at-least-six-russian-nation-state-actors-responsible-for-cyber-attacks-against-ukraine

https://us.telefonicatech.com/news/stronginsider-threat-incidents-have-risen-44-over-the-past-two-years-strong-with-the-strongper-incident-cost-averaging-15m-strong/

https://www.proofpoint.com/uk/blog/insider-threat-management/insider-threats-are-still-rise-2022-ponemon-report

https://gcs.civilservice.gov.uk/publications/crisis-communication-a-behavioural-approach/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-27/wall-street-whatsapp-probe-poised-to-result-in-historic-fine

https://us.telefonicatech.com/news/stronginsider-threat-incidents-have-risen-44-over-the-past-two-years-strong-with-the-strongper-incident-cost-averaging-15m-strong/

https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/ransomware-wannacry

https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/ransomware-wannacry https://theintercept.com/2020/07/31/protests-surveillance-stingrays-dirtboxes-phone-tracking/

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