The world of mobile cybercrime is always evolving as hackers look for more sophisticated ways to generate income. Kaspersky’s recent mobile report discovered over 95,000 new mobile Trojans in 2021, the number of attacks utilising this virus remained similar. Trojans, which are dangerous programmes that can run orders from a distance, also doubled in prevalence, reaching 8.8%. It should come as no surprise that mobile security increasingly tops organisation’s list of concerns. On a regular basis, almost all employees use their smartphones to access company information.
The startling truth is that mobile device malware attacks aren’t overly common, despite the fact that the majority of people and businesses concentrate primarily on the spectacular subject of malware. Here are a few urgent challenges to mobile security and why it shouldn’t be ignored:
- Backdoor threats
There are many ways in which hackers can get into a mobile device, however the main point of access is backdoor exploits. Backdoor exploits are attacks that leverage flaws in software or systems to gain unauthorised access. For instance, a security programme flaw installed on computers at a bank’s corporate office could be exploited using a backdoor. Through this vulnerability, attackers would be able to access the system and introduce a virus that would give them complete control over all online transactions made with the bank.
Backdoor attacks are used by cyber criminals for a variety of purposes such as installing spyware or keyloggers. By installing covert espionage tools on computers they have compromised, hackers may try to steal private documents or other material. Passwords and other sensitive information that can be used to perpetrate identity theft or other financial crimes may also be of interest to them.
For organisations they can enable unauthorised users access to computers, servers, laptops, mobile phones, and other devices, giving them the ability to examine company data and send it outside the firm without being noticed.
To try and avoid these threats choose your devices carefully, and only download apps from a platform’s official store to be on the safe side. Even if you require a free app that can track a mobiles whereabouts, think about downloading it from a reputable store like the Apple iOS App Store or Google Play Store.
- Information Security threats
Data leaking from mobile applications happens frequently without intent. For instance, most mobile device users who give ‘riskware‘ apps broad rights and never pay attention to security conditions are at risk.
Today’s typical smartphone user has between 60 and 90 apps installed on their phone. The majority of these programmes ask for information about you and the device you are using. These are typically free consumer apps that are available through official app stores. What you didn’t realise is that some of them have the capability of sending your private information, as well as maybe company data, to a specific server. They might ask for information such as your name, email address, or physical address. However; since they are so sophisticated, smartphones may potentially obtain far more information than that, such as your precise location. Even the camera and microphone on the device may be requested by some applications. This information is easily mined by advertisers or cybercriminals.
Additionally, malicious corporate-signed mobile applications might cause the disclosure of mobile data. Therefore, it’s important to only grant mobile apps the minimum amount of rights and to avoid programmes that ask for more than this. As an extra layer of security, organisations should install a secure communications app across their workforce that can help ensure that employees don’t accidentally compromise their corporate information on their own devices.
- Network Security threats
When wireless hotspots are accessible, nobody wants to use up their cellular data, yet free Wi-Fi networks are frequently insecure. In fact, three British lawmakers who consented to participate in a free wifi security experiment were effortlessly compromised by tech specialists. Their VoIP chats, PayPal transactions, and social media accounts were all infiltrated. Use free Wi-Fi on your mobile device carefully for safety. Additionally, never use it to access private or confidential services especially on a business device that holds confidential information.
You should think about utilising a Virtual Private Network that scrambles data (VPN). This creates a level of encryption between a user and a website so that any data that might be intercepted is unintelligible to hackers without the right decryption key. Fortunately, both for laptops and mobiles, you may find VPNs that are totally free. However, you should be open-minded and consider purchasing one as well; it is worthwhile to save your private information.
- Database Security threats
The majority of mobile device users haven’t adequately safeguarded their accounts. If the gadgets contain their personal sign-in information and business information, this becomes a concern.
Attackers work tirelessly to identify and take advantage of software flaws, and database management software is one of their most prized targets. Every day, new security flaws are found, and all open source database management systems and commercial database software providers constantly release security updates. Your database could be vulnerable to assault, though, if you don’t apply these patches right away.
Even if you do deploy fixes on schedule, you are still at risk for zero-day attacks, which happen when attackers find a vulnerability that the database vendor has not yet identified and patched.
If your database holds sensitive data, avoid sharing a server between web apps and database applications. Even while it could be simpler and less expensive to host your website and database on the same server, you are entrusting the security of your data to a third party.
- Mobile Interception threats
Organisations should always be aware of mobile interception threats. The storage, recording, tracking, and interception of cellular communications, such as phone conversations, internet use, SMS, etc., is known as mobile interception. Historically, the main purpose of this technique is to acquire information concerning criminal or terrorist activity, however with the access to this technology we are now seeing stories of this technology used to monitor high profile businesses cases to gain sensitive and valuable information. When properly executed, they can be very difficult to detect as when the traffic is intercepted, no trace is left by the hacker to indicate it ever took place. They are typically only discovered when the attacker piggybacks the connection to send their data packets.
Rarely are these attacks made common knowledge. The employment of MitM attacks in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the use of IMSI catchers by private detectives in London to monitor journalists for a foreign government are examples of this in recent years.
This can have a huge impact on organisations. Attackers can get confidential corporate information by focusing on specific users, which they can subsequently sell on the dark web or use as a springboard for more serious damage to the organisation.
What about your Mobile Communications?
Actually take a moment to think about it.
You process and save reams of digital data using your phone or any other mobile communication device. Mobile devices have generally become a wealth of data for hackers thanks to user digital activities like quickly paying for goods, checking bank balances, sending emails and even transferring files.
Today’s consumer messaging apps frequently attempt to position themselves as “secure” due to the fact that they have begun incorporating encryption into their technology. Salt Communications recognise that encryption by itself won’t be enough to make a communication app secure, we saw the chance to develop a system that provided all the appealing features of consumer apps while putting an emphasis on an organisation’s security. This gives organisations complete control over their communication system and allows them to stay compliant, and, of course, allows them to keep their private communications secure. If you continue to ignore your mobile security, it won’t be a matter of ‘if’ you come under attack – it will be when, if not already.
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.