Threats to mobile security and how to prevent them

Threats to mobile security and how to prevent them [Image: Trifonenko via iStock]

Mobile devices make everyone’s lives easier. From being able to carry out work duties like responding to emails, to shopping in our spare time, smartphones and tablets are never far from our reach.

However, as much as we rely on them today, they can pose risks to us. There is the possibility that our personal information might be leaked by the apps that we chose to install on our devices.

Different threats

Wandera has pointed out that there are four different threats to mobile devices: device configuration; insecure app; infrastructure; and network and web threats.

Device configuration is often overlooked, according to Wandera. This is because users assume that their mobile operating systems are secure. However, this is not always true. Corrupt, tampered or altered configurations can cause devices to become vulnerable. This can result from jailbreaks, outdated operating systems and malicious profiles.

The popularity and rise of WiFi hotspots has resulted in an increase in infrastructure threats. They allow hackers to intercept users’ traffic.

Meanwhile, network threats are the result of spam, phishing or malware. Regardless of the device used, these threats can steal personal information, which could lead to businesses losing a great deal of data.

App leaks

According to Wandera, the security provider, “the ‘app store’ model has given people a false sense of safety,” adding that it suggests “an app is safe if it passed the review criteria and gained admission”.

The company said that “the truth is that the review process primarily safeguards good user experience,” rather than taking into account any security aspects.

Some apps are responsible for leaking personal data, whether this is intentional or not. When that information has been released, however, it could be accessed by the wrong people.

Despite companies doing their best to discourage employees from using certain apps on the phones they are using through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, they cannot guarantee that workers will adhere to this.

Many developers leave security as a secondary concern, more focused on creating a popular app. This leaves vulnerabilities in the app.

This means that there has to be an extra layer of security placed on employees’ devices.

Cloud security

With so much of our data being stored in the cloud now, it can become a very attractive target for hackers. It may seem that the cloud is difficult to secure, and many businesses have expressed concern about its security.

However, ensuring that the right security is present on your devices will go a long way towards preventing malicious attacks.

By operating an in-line cloud proxy, however, Wandera prevents the threats with the initial request. This means that there is no need to wait for the threat to be physically remediated on the device. Arrow can provide you and your business with Wandera to keep your information safe.