You already know that your business could be at risk of security breach from employees who click everything and out-of-date security systems, but have you ever considered that the rise in mobile phone usage throughout businesses could lead to mobile data breaches within your organization?
The correlation between mobile and security breaches
According to a recent report by mobile security firm Lookout, the percentage of data breaches are largely attributable to mobile devices. Nearly three-quarters of 100 IT and security leads surveyed (about half of which were chief information security officers) reported that their organizations have “experienced a data breach as a result of a mobile security issue.” Almost 82% of the survey respondents said that employees in their organizations have access to “the majority of their corporate data” through mobile devices. While mobile usage is intended to increase employee productivity, it also means that hackers have more ways to gain access to corporate networks. As business continue to allow employees to their personal mobile devices for work, smart device security is going to need to continue to rank higher in security priorities, with 90% of survey respondents agreeing that they plan to invest more in mobility security over the next year.
Common mobile breach causes
Good news if you’re using a Blackberry, Windows phone or iOS—99% of mobile malware is targeted at Androids. However, the other one percent does include Blackberry, Windows phones and iOS, so no mobile device is completely impenetrable. Only a small percentage of those malware encounters, under 2%, were targeting specific devices. Most malware was spread through phishing scams, like-jacking, and forced redirects. Here are a few common causes for mobile breaches:
- Device loss or theft – A common cause for mobile breaches involve individuals losing or have their device stolen. This could allow access to company data but is or expenses from foreign calls and the loss of the device. Password protection helps limit the costs and dangers of losing a phone.
- Malware – Malware is another common cause of mobile data breaches, leading to the device to send spam emails, infect other devices on the network or even harvest passwords. This is an increasing problem as hackers begin to target mobile devices instead of desktop computers. Encourage employees to be careful with downloading software, just as they are with desktop machines.
- Unsecured networks – Another danger is the rogue Wi-Fi networks, set up by hackers to trap people logging on at airports, stations or coffee shops. This has been common in Asia but is less often used, so far, in North America or Europe. Train staff to treat Wi-Fi access with caution or consider giving them unlimited data contracts so they don’t need to use open access points.
Employees are bringing their own devices to work: smart phones, tablets, laptops. And, they are probably performing work functions on them, in the office or out, with or without your knowledge. As expected with desktop systems, employees should be continued to be educated on the security issues that can arise through mobile usage and IT should be taking security precautions to ensure that mobile devices are not becoming an open door for hackers into the organization’s systems.