Mobile Security Threats: What Every Organization Should Know

As more organizations implement remote work policies, employees accessing company data with mobile devices is becoming the norm. Telework offers flexibility and sometimes, a cost reduction, but using mobile devices comes with risks to your data security. IT managers should be aware of these risks and take steps to protect sensitive information. Doing so will help mitigate security issues while still allowing employees the freedom to utilize mobile devices for work. ‍

What is a mobile security threat?

Any type of threat that targets a mobile device, including phishing attacks, malware, viruses and more, is considered a mobile security threat. Devices such as smartphones and tablets are especially vulnerable to threats because they often contain a lot of sensitive data that is used by a remote employee. The usual culprits include unsafe mobile networks, unsecure mobile apps, and weak mobile operating systems. Some specific examples of mobile security threats are described below:‍

‍Mobile applications that have been contaminated by malware are known as malicious mobile apps. They can be found in both official app stores as well as third-party ones. If an employee downloads such an app, the malware gains access to the device and everything that is stored on it.  ‍

Lost or stolen mobile devices pose a threat to both the individual and the entire organization. Hackers may target C-level executives because their data could be considered more valuable, but any team member’s lost device presents a huge vulnerability. 

Perhaps the biggest mobile security threat to businesses is conducting work using an unsecured wi-fi network. For example, hackers can use public wi-fi that is not secured to steal data and extort businesses.

How can you protect your company against mobile security threats?

A few simple steps can be taken to prevent mobile security threats from damaging your organization, including:

Step 1: Perform a mobile cybersecurity audit. First, you will need to identify vulnerabilities in your employees’ mobile device usage. Work with an experienced IT managed services provider to identify and analyze the risks present in your business. The MSP can help you create an actionable plan to handle the risks.‍

Step 2: Educate your employees about the threats uncovered in the audit as well as the plan you have developed to deal with them. For example, employees should know that accessing company data and networks on their mobile devices puts the entire company at risk. Your team is the first line of defense – they should understand how to implement the suggestions provided by the MSP for preventing an attack.

Step 3: Implement new or updated mobile security policies that will protect your company from threats. Informed by your MSP consultation, these policies should address the different risks you uncovered in the audit and provide detailed instruction on how to mitigate them. This information includes what data can be accessed from mobile devices, where such data can be accessed, and what applications should not be used.

Understanding the risks posed by mobile device usage and the steps necessary to mitigate threats can go a long way toward keeping your organization’s valuable information safe. If you are ready to conduct your own mobile security audit and plan, get in touch with our knowledgeable team.


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