Could a Mobile Device Put Your Cyber Security at Risk?

Before the dawn of the new millennium, the cyber security of mobile phones and other mobile IT devices wasn’t as concerning as it is today. Mobile cyber security threats were primarily limited to laptops and phones, and the latter lacked many of the “smart” capabilities that now come standard, making the cell phones of the timeless opportune for data thieves to target.

Today, providing cyber security for mobile phones and other portable IT can be as imperative as protecting the hardware you deploy in-house. Do your employees use mobile devices to reach your cloud or to access third-party apps that use some of your organization’s sensitive information? If so, proactively responding to mobile cyber security threats is a critical aspect of minimizing vulnerability to breaches that could harm present finances and future business.

If you need stronger protection against mobile security risks, cyber security consulting from NIC can help. We’ll recommend solutions based on your devices and how you use them.

Mobile Cyber Security Risks: 3 Examples

For businesses that depend on mobile IT, network breaches can arise from inadequate cyber security for mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other types of mobile devices that connect to the network. Here are three common examples of mobile security risks that businesses face.

1. Mobile “Malvertising” Ads

Malvertising ads distribute malware to a mobile device. An ad can infect a device “pre-click,” meaning without the user clicking on it. Posters accomplish this by embedding malware in the main scripts of pages that feature the ads. A malvertisement doesn’t need to expose a vulnerability in the website that hosts it or in the server that hosts the website. Consequently, the malicious ad may appear on a legitimate website, dramatically increasing the chance of exposure.

2. Device Control Data Theft

This “device attack” takes control of a mobile device to access data. Because the attack directly targets the controls of the device, it is often initiated by sending a link via the short message service (SMS) or the multimedia message service (MMS) that mobile devices offer. The attack begins when the link is clicked and automatically accesses data that is stored in the device. When the attack is aimed at businesses, it is typically sent to Android devices.

3. Trojan Horse Link Texts

This type of malware attack is designed to steal data by delivering a Trojan horse to a mobile device. A link is often sent in the form of an SMS text, which contains an application that downloads the Trojan after the link is clicked. In addition to occurring through an active Wi-Fi network, the attack can happen through a cellular telephone network. This makes it one of the mobile device attacks for which businesses most often seek cyber security for mobile phones.

Mobile Cyber Security as Loss Prevention

As the cyber security risks above demonstrate, capabilities that make a mobile device valuable for business also supply it with data that a thief won’t overlook. Because your device contains data that he could monetize, his potential to go for the gold is one of the mobile cyber security threats you face. Given the financial toll that follows a successful hack, cyber security for mobile phones and other mobile devices is a valuable form of loss prevention.

Citing figures from IBM Security and Ponemon Institute’s latest joint study of data breach cost, Security Today reports, “The global average cost of a data breach (for 2018) is $3.86 million, up 6.4 percent from last year. The average cost, globally, for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information, is also up from last year, landing at $148 per record, a 4.8 percent increase from 2017.”

Big Risk for Small and Midsize Businesses

The cost of a data breach is too high for many small and midsize businesses (SMBs). As Small Business Trends reports, “60% of SMBs that lose their data will shut down within six months.” Although most businesses don’t close, affording a breach is like making an investment that yields a bad return. Much of the expense goes toward indirect costs, such as legally required customer notification activities and performing in-house IT investigations.

Addressing mobile cyber security threats prevents breaches that insecure mobile devices potentiate. But it’s important to note that no solution offers total invulnerability. Encryption is decipherable and stopping a breach by someone in-house, who has a greater advantage than an outside hacker would, can be nearly impossible. For situations such as these, and for less exotic scenarios that hit closer to home, custom remediation planning is recommended.

Remediation Plan for Mobile Cyber Security

A remediation plan is an approach for efficiently correcting issues that cause problems in an organized environment, such as a business operation. A plan can be designed to proactively prevent something from occurring, or it can be a plan of action for responding to something that may happen. For cyber security, remediation planning is often used in both capacities.

When you have strong cyber security for mobile phones and other mobile devices, and the security is based on a proactive remediation plan that is customized for your needs, your business is unlikely to have a security breach originate from a mobile device. If a breach occurs, a responsive remediation plan can mitigate—and possibly eliminate—the cost of the event.

Perhaps more importantly, a responsive remediation plan can protect future revenue by preventing a breach from impacting your clients or customers. In other words, you could avoid having to tell them that their sensitive information has been compromised by a hacker. In addition to best-in-class cyber security for mobile phones and other mobile devices, we can enhance the cyber security capability of your business with a customized remediation plan.

Contact NIC for Stronger Cyber Security

Mobile cyber security threats may be impossible to avoid, but the threats don’t have come to fruition. With managed cyber security services from NIC, your business can take advantage of its mobile assets, without being disadvantaged by hackers and other disreputable parties.

To explore options for mobile cyber security, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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