Top Mobile Security Threats expected in 2022

Misinformation campaigns, supply chain attacks, phishing, smishing, mobile interception and mobile malware are dominating mobile security trends worldwide and are just some of a large list of issues that businesses and government organisations are battling.  

The hazards of compromised mobile security vulnerabilities are waiting around the corner, and even the largest businesses and governments are feeling the heat of cyber attacks and mobile threats, due to the increased use of mobile phones for work purposes.

Due to the ever-increasing number of cyber incidents in 2021, leading business and security specialists are encouraging corporate leaders to spend significantly in Mobile Threat Defense. Due to the obvious complex nature of security threats and attacks, as well as the obscurity of typical detection techniques, today’s mobile security risks have more than doubled in recent years.  

Growth of Phishing and Smishing attacks 

Mobile phishing assaults are expected to increase in sophistication and effectiveness this year, tempting users to click on malicious web links, open infected files, and download malware from email attachments or even SMS. Following the dangers of uncontrolled WiFi connections, phishing attacks have risen to second place of the most prevalent network hazards for mobile devices. Phishing is a type of email scam that is used to steal personal information from victims. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt by cybercriminals to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers and login credentials by impersonating a legitimate company or individual in an email conversation.

Smishing has been around for a long time also, but it has recently exploded in popularity, thanks in part to the global pandemic. Just a fast Google News search will give you an indication of the scope of a global problem that leads to massive financial losses, invasions of privacy, and growing enterprise damages. Smishing, in which scammers send text messages to deceive consumers into clicking on harmful links and disclosing personal information, was named the fifth most popular fraud scam by Feedzai for the first time. Mobile smishing rose by over 700% in the first 6 months of 2021, which is likely to be a result of more customers shopping online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The rise of Mobile Malware attacks 

2021 saw a significant increase in malware attacks, with hackers focusing their efforts on smartphones using techniques such as surveillance, credential theft, and harmful adverts. In fact, according to a prominent digital journal, cyberattacks on mobile devices increased by 50% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. 

Due to the increase of the use of banking apps according to publications and prominent analysts the number of malware attacks has risen. Which has made hackers eager to steal payment data, misuse login credentials, and then remove funds from victims’ bank accounts.

Attempts to seize connected devices will increase

Experts expect that the number of IoT-connected devices will increase by 17% over the next seven years. Several home-based products, such as heaters, locking systems, electric switches, automobiles, and security cameras, may now be controlled remotely from a mobile device via a single smartphone app.

In real-world attacks, Kaspersky discovered that infected devices are being used to steal personal or business data and mine cryptocurrency, in addition to classic DDoS operations in which the devices are added to a botnet. In addition to weak passwords providing a mechanism to hack IoT targets, a growing number of vulnerabilities are being discovered, making IoT devices more appealing to attackers. 

AI will become essential to some businesses

To combat cybercrime, cybersecurity systems should ideally consist of two basic capabilities: first, understanding the type and behaviour of cyber threats, and second, figuring out how to block them. Companies are investing millions of dollars in order to detect threats and prevent them from launching attacks. 

However, the increasing complexity of cyber threats such as zero-day malware, trojans, and ransomware necessitates a solution that goes beyond human intelligence. Artificial Intelligence has proven to be extremely effective in mitigating its effects. It achieves so by using machine learning, deep learning, and other cutting-edge approaches to replicate human precision in cyber-attack detection on a broader scale. AI tools have become critical components for accurately detecting future dangers and delivering appropriate responses to avoid business disruption.

Malvertising and eavesdropping will increase with easy SSL certificates

The majority of us rely on a website that has a padlock icon in the URL bar, which merely indicates that it is a secure website to access. However, as more businesses use this method to demonstrate their security, hackers are seizing the opportunity to obtain an SSL certificate while remaining undetected.

The possibility of eavesdropping and malvertising assaults is sure to climb as millions of people knowingly pass over their ultra-confidential information on apps, including their current location. On a mobile the biggest threat is through payment gateways and with there being a lack of strong SSL certificates on apps, it’s likely many will fall for the trap. With an easy SSL certificate it prevents the user from having any armour to stop their mobile from being compromised. 

Obtaining an SSL certificate is rather simple, and various issuers offer it at very low fees, with some even offering it for free, to prevent any monitoring of payment options or genuine PII (Personally Identifiable Information) from passing through their hands. For attackers, digital certificates are incredibly useful because they allow them to get beyond ever-improving defence systems. These attacks are projected to stay quite popular for the foreseeable future, which is unsurprising.

The growing popularity of Mobile Interception

The storage, recording, tracking, and interception of cellular communications such as phone calls, internet usage, SMS, and so on is known as mobile interception technology. When used for lawful reasons this technology is used to collect information about terrorist or criminal activity. However, there is a major increase in this type of technology being made available for unlawful reasons. Everyday business or Government employees are using unencrypted mobile messaging apps to communicate about work-related information which in many cases could provide an entry point for a bad actor to intercept important business communications and documents.

By leaving your employees open to this type of attack, organisations are providing hackers with an inexpensive and easy method to collect information on important business transactional information or top secret government communications. These types of incidents have taken place where hackers have intercepted M&A communications and have been able to manipulate the stock market for financial gain as a result of the sensitive information they were able to intercept. For government employees, the discussion of sensitive information via insecure mobile platforms is common, but a decision that could put themselves and the wider public in danger if sensitive information was to fall into the wrong hands. 

This is why many businesses and governments choose to use a secure communications platform to interact both internally and externally. The Salt Communications solution enables professionals to conduct secure calls and send secure messages while maintaining complete communication privacy. Salt allows organisations to control their own communications, mitigating many of the risks other businesses encounter when sharing important information via their mobile device.  Salt Communications protects your company’s data from attackers from outside your organisation at all times. 

All of these mobile security trends point to the increasing need for more stringent and comprehensive mobility policies. Indeed, if forecasts are correct, new industry-specific and universal data privacy regulations and governance will be enacted in 2022, with a particular application dedicated to mobility to carefully monitor the pattern of mobile usage by far and wide. 

To discuss this article in greater detail with the team, or to sign up for a free trial of Salt Communications contact us on info@saltcommunications.com or visit our website at https://saltcommunications.com/.


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.

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