Smartphones have become one of the most flexible and resourceful items we own. No matter where we go or what we do, those handy gadgets are always there beside us, waiting for attention.
As a business, every employee probably has one handy to help them throughout their days. Whether you require special equipment or have a BYOD policy in place, most smart devices these days are a well-mixed pool of both enterprise and personal data, working together to give an individual what they need for their busy days.
And smart phones have gotten “smarter”. They can release your information with your fingerprint, pay for your groceries with just a touch at the checkout counter, measure your heart rate, and track every move you make. That makes them indispensable.
That also makes them a target.
But for many, there is a fallacy that mobile devices are less susceptible to malware than traditional computers. And that iPhones are less vulnerable than their Android counterparts. That’s changed.
Human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor received an email last year that didn’t look quite right. The link contained Pegasus, which is a complex hacking tool that is used to infiltrate computers. Once in, it operates like a ghost, seeing everything the user does. Every single text message, every calendar entry, every email sent, every password stored, every list of wifi networks - everything is compromised. It can intercept audio from calls, or use the microphone as a listening device. Think of it as a high tech walkie-talkie.
This happened on an iPhone. A version has also been found on Android.
Aging or end-of-life devices are even more at risk. Has your phone ever been too old to accept the latest update for your operating system? Then it might be missing critical security patches that can keep it safe from prying eyes.
The Android system is more vulnerable than iOs, especially for older systems. With iOs, you have one source for distribution for any app purchase. With Android that isn’t so. People can choose to download apps from many different sources, including rogue and unsafe apps. Including ones that dup users into granting permission to have access.
The best mobile spyware is smart. It gets in, gets what it wants, and disappears. By removing the evidence after a data dump, attackers are more likely to get by with their attacks.
Which means the more valuable your information, the more of a reason your company has for being under attack, the more at risk you are.
Just like your internal data and systems need structure, so too does your mobile policies. It’s more imperative than ever to:
- Keep devices up to date by pushing out updates all the time
- Remind your users to avoid suspicious links and to report anything that looks out of the ordinary immediately
- Send suspicious links up the chain of command
- Monitor your networks all the time.
The quicker you act to protect yourself and your business, the better you’ll fare on the other side.
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.