What is mobile security? – Security Boulevard

August 30, 2022 by No Comments

The use of smartphones has surged, but the users’ knowledge regarding the security of mobile devices has not kept pace with this uptick. To put things into perspective, a study claimed almost 97% of organizations tackled mobile threats in 2020; further, 46% of companies found at least one employee had a malicious application installed on their phones. At a time when smartphones have become universal, ensuring their safety is not optional but a necessity. Mobile security aims at protecting a whole gamut of gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, from security threats. With people increasingly conducting their lives on smartphones, these devices have turned into a treasure trove of sensitive data — ranging from digital wallets, and social media to business secrets — for hackers.

Mobile security threats

Mobile devices are prone to a variety of risks, including malware attacks and advanced persistent threats. Here are a few prominent threats to mobile security:

  • Phishing: When an attacker sends a fraudulent message to trick a victim into disclosing personal information or install malicious software, the attack is called phishing. This social engineering tactic involves sending innocent-looking messages to unsuspecting people and inducing them into clicking suspicious links or downloading infected files. This social engineering threat is often the carrier of malware, code injections, and network attacks that can lead to ransomware. According to an IBM study, it is the second most expensive cause of data breaches, with business losses running into $4.65 million on an average.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack: A man-in-the-middle attack allows an attacker to intercept and decrypt data transmitted over a network. Although MitM attacks can happen across platforms, the use of stingrays (an IMSI-catcher that targets legacy 2G or GSM networks by mimicking a cell tower and connecting your phone to that) by dubious actors puts mobile devices at risk. Using stingrays, hackers can intercept, eavesdrop, or even manipulate calls, data, and messages.
  • Malicious apps and websites: These are malware, including ransomware and viruses, which are surreptitiously installed on a mobile device. These apps and websites steal or encrypt data. These apps are adept at keylogging and packet sniffing, leaving all your digital transactions and communications susceptible to cyber criminals.

Always keep your phone/tablet locked

This method, at least partly, safeguards your data in case of physical theft. You can lock your device using the various options available, like passcode or facial recognition. When you enable a screen lock, you can specify the duration for which your phone can remain idle before locking. Select the least amount of time possible as this protects your data by self-activating in case you forget to lock it. It will save your battery, too, as the screen will turn off after a predetermined time.

Install antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing programs

You can improve your device’s security and protect your personal information by installing antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-phishing programs. Such security software keeps a tab on your network and device and alerts you to any suspicious activity. Many mobile service providers offer this protection to their subscribers.

Don’t root or jailbreak phone/tablet

When you jailbreak or root your phone or tablet, you eliminate the safeguards that the manufacturers put in place. It may be tempting to root your phone to gain access to app shops other than the official ones but doing so puts you in grave danger. The programs in these unauthorized marketplaces may …….

Source: https://securityboulevard.com/2022/08/what-is-mobile-security/

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