Growing Mobile Trends and Increased Security Concerns

By CIOReview | Monday, December 19, 2016
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“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” Winston Churchill’s inspirational quote draws the perfect metaphor to explain the role of security and mobile devices in work place today. Mobile devices though immensely beneficial, present numerous security challenges. Though mobile technology is growing rapidly than any other in the past few years, and the IT industry has designed an impressive number of services targeting mobile platforms, mobile devices and its evolution is beset with pros and cons. Mobile App trends are building a world of endless possibilities not only for the organizations but also for hackers and cyber criminals.

The development of technology, demand for use of mobile devices in organizations is not only facilitating better business, but also opening doors for innovative attack vectors.  Financially motivated attackers will always be on the lookout to discover vulnerabilities and launch attacks.

The most common problem that every CIO encounters with mobile devices in organizations is security breaches. Although every organization takes proper care and makes sure that confidential information is properly distributed with limited access, this is not enough to ensure better security.  

Threats are being developed every day, causing huge financial as well as data loss. Gartner says that through 2016, the financial impact of cybercrime will grow 10 percent per year, due to the continuing discovery of new vulnerabilities. Improved combinations of evolving threats and vulnerabilities will result in continued cyber attacks unless organizations take security as the top priority. That cement the reason for CIO’s to be careful and employ best in class security measures while using mobile devices and applications within organizations.                            

Recent studies also denote an increased growth of viruses and malwares targeting mobile devices.  Hackers are reported to be developing various methods of breaching into mobile devices. Accounting for about 72 percent of infections and being the fourth most-prevalent malware overall, Hummingbad- dominates mobile malware space today. Also, during the beginning of 2016, Botnets- a new malware distribution technique emerged in the mobile world. Botnets are group of devices that are controlled by hackers without the owner’s knowledge. The capabilities of Botnets depend on the number of devices that are under control of the hacker.

Researchers even detected botnets and malwares that managed to infiltrate into prominent websites providing third-party applications and support tools. Mobile botnets are widely used today to generate fraudulent traffic and malicious ad clicks. But these are not the limits of botnets. They can be leveraged to accomplish disrupting goals, like DDoS attacks with a devastating effect on organizations resulting in huge data and financial loss.

Better Security with Mobile Devices

To be safe from cyber threats is not an easy task nowadays because of the highly sophisticated malware technologies being developed every day. Here are few strategies that can be adopted for a safer use of mobile applications.

1. Third-party security applications

Today, there are several third-party security applications available that can save mobile devices from cyber attacks through networks as well as external applications.  Prominent organizations like Avast, Norton, and McAfee antivirus are some of the top rated mobile antivirus providers.             

2. Best Practices

Adopt the best practices that include well maintained security, proper configuration, limited data as well as network access, regular updates and installation of applications from trusted sources. Encrypting confidential data in mobile devices and practicing safe browsing techniques are also important. Always be cautious about app permissions and watch out for any unnecessary misuse of permission levels by applications.

3. Mobile device Management Solutions

An efficient mobile device management solution can be used to monitor and manage mobile devices inside the organization. These applications allow centralized control and management of mobile devices of registered employees.