It’s common today for employees to access corporate data and resources from their mobile devices. This trend has been going on for a while – but it became part of business as usual during the pandemic, when employees were forced to work from home.
Mobile working has a number of benefits for small and medium-sized businesses. 75% of people say their smartphones make them more productive. As well as this, enabling mobile working empowers your employees to work from any location, improving workplace satisfaction.
However, for all its benefits, using mobile devices for work comes with a number of security risks. Your employees’ mobile phones are not as secure as corporate hardware that sits within your company’s walls.
Below, we’ll explore the top three mobile security threats facing SMBs.
1. Social engineering attacks
Social engineering attacks are a category of cyber-attack where malicious actors impersonate trusted individuals or brands to dupe employees into clicking malicious links or sharing sensitive data.
Social engineering attacks tend to take the form of SMSishing or phishing on mobile devices. SMSishing is a social engineering attack. According to research, a massive 91% of cyber attacks start with a spear-phishing email, and 86% of phishing attacks target U.S. victims.
While your company laptops will likely have anti-spam and email filtering solutions in place to protect against social engineering attacks, your employees’ mobiles aren’t as protected. If a hacker gets your employee’s number, for example, they could easily text them pretending to be a colleague or customer.
2. Malicious applications
Applications can be great for employee productivity and communication – but your people need to watch out for bogus apps that are actually malicious.
Malicious apps are a huge problem – and hackers are creating new ones every day. Research shows that around 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked from app stores every day.
These apps masquerade as legitimate applications on popular app stores. When your employees download them, they launch malware on their devices or steal sensitive data.
For businesses, this problem can be hard to control. If your employees use their own mobile devices for work, it can be unfair to restrict what apps they should and shouldn’t engage with. However, it’s in you and your employees’ best interests to avoid malicious apps – they will only cause harm!
3. Man in the middle attacks
Many employees don’t have unlimited data plans, so they’ll often log on to public WiFi hotspots while out and about. This issue is that not all WiFi connections are legitimate or secure.
Cybercriminals have been known to create fraudulent WiFi websites that imitate legitimate connections. For example, they might put out a false signal near Starbucks and call it “StarbuckssWiFi” in the hope that people won’t look closely for the spelling error and sign in.
Once an employee has logged in to a fake WiFi spot, hackers can then conduct what’s known as a man in the middle attack. They essentially collect all the data and information your employee shares with the WiFi connection. Often, this information will include passwords, personal information and even financial details.
How to combat mobile security threats
Your company needs to be proactive about mobile security. We have all seen how a data breach can severely damage a company’s bottom line – and you don’t want poor mobile security practices to be the reason why!
One of the most important things you can do is to train your employees on good security hygiene. Teach them about the risks of malicious apps and unsecured WiFi networks. We also advise conducting regular phishing training for your people too.
If your employees use company-owned mobile phones, you may want to consider deploying a mobile device management solution, which will give you greater control and visibility over how employees use their mobile phones.
However, if your employees use their own mobile phones, you’ll need to be a bit more creative. Solutions like data loss prevention and encryption can help you to keep company data secure – even if it is stored on your employees’ mobile phones.
If this all sounds a little complex too, or you’re not sure where to begin, then don’t fret! That’s where we come in. Our managed I.T. services are perfect for businesses that want to bolster their security but don’t have the internal resources to do so.
Keep Your Business Protected From Mobile Security Threats With Help From Texas I.T. Pros
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business to enhance the security of your mobile workforce. We can assist you with putting security solutions in place and managing your security program from end to end.
Reach out to us if your business is having difficulty with cybersecurity. Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.