Why are mobile devices so attractive for hackers?

According to an IDC study entitled “Mobile Security in Germany 2017”, only 58 percent of the companies surveyed have a central concept for information security that covers ALL systems and devices. Our experience shows that mobile devices in particular tend to be neglected. This, however, is a serious risk – not just because these devices are being used more and more, but also, and in particular, because the threat of an attack on smartphones and tablets is significantly higher than on desktop devices. Why is this? And what can you do to protect your business and data? Find out in this blog post.

Inadequate security precautions

Comprehensive security solutions are generally implemented for desktop devices – from firewall and antivirus programs to encryption standards. But the same cannot be said of mobile devices. Effective technologies that help to fend off attacks are thin on the ground. This is ultimately due to the fact that only few companies have a mobile security expert who has the necessary expertise for this.

Lack of monitoring options

And it’s also more difficult to detect an attack on smartphones and tablets. For example, there is no mouseover function to display the target of an URL. And this is a particular problem as the user is a risk factor anyway. A lack of security awareness and too little knowledge result in phishing mails going unrecognized, apps being loaded from doubtful sources, and devices going missing.

More sophisticated attacks

What makes matters worse is the fact that attacks are becoming increasingly professional. While it used to be possible to identify a phishing mail by bad spelling, today’s messages look deceptively genuine, as do the fake registration pages prompting the input of user data. Attack methods are becoming more and more sophisticated and can now circumvent various security mechanisms. This is the status quo – in the future they will no doubt be able to do a whole lot more.

Many points of entry

However, it is not just the quality of the attacks that is rising – the use of mobile devices is also continuing to grow. And mobile devices are offering newer ways for attacks to spread – whether via one of the many messaging platforms or one of the innumerable apps. And there is no end in sight as new points of attack are constantly being added.

Private and business use

Another problem is the fact that smartphones and tablets – unlike desktop PCs – are frequently used both privately and for business. This applies to devices brought in by employees (BYOD) as well as those provided by the company. Nevertheless, care needs to be taken to ensure that high security standards are met for business data. Messages and sensitive data, for example, need to be secured separately, and even encrypted in some circumstances. This, however, is not the case when an employee uses e.g. WhatsApp to communicate with friends, and company contacts are not kept separate from private ones. In this case, these are also sent to the provider’s external service without the user’s consent.

Recommendations for mobile security

Mobile devices are therefore a lucrative target for hackers. They offer access to sensitive data and are comparatively easy to hack, as e.g. their users can be induced into making mistakes. It is therefore important for you to take the necessary security precautions for your business, so you can take advantage of the benefits that mobile devices can unquestionably provide.

  • Implement an Enterprise Mobility Management Solution that enables you to manage all your mobile devices and take security precautions. Or use a container solution that keeps private and business data separate and, in the event of a cyberattack, provides the option of erasing the data from the device. There are also special solutions available that allow preventive measures to be taken, mobile attacks to be detected and countermeasures to be initiated.
  • Make your employees more aware of the subject and choose practice-related approaches. After all, theory-based seminars and policies rarely achieve the same result as a live hack that impressively demonstrates how easily it is to fall prey to an attack.

Don’t hesitate to contact us – we’ll be happy to advise you on how to protect your mobile devices.

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