We at MOSTCONF are wholly dedicated to providing relevant discussions about mobile device security. With the continued increase in threats and vulnerabilities, it is important to be aware.
What is mobile security?
It is the active protection of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The goal is to defend these devices and the networks they connect to from risks and vulnerabilities.
What are mobile security threats?
If there are viruses for computer systems, there are several security threats that are made specifically to affect mobile devices. These are broken down to different categories which derive from where the threat is based: applications, web, network, and physical.
One of the best virtues of smartphone is the applications that users can utilize for a variety of purposes. However, it was only a matter of time before criminal intent was applied. Unsuspecting users end up downloading innocuous looking apps, not realizing that these were made to penetrate security systems. It should be noted as well that even legitimate applications can be exploited for ill intent. Even legitimate apps such as Office 365, Google Suite products and Dropbox fall victim to intrusions – which is why having backups is so important.
App based hazards normally fall under these categories: malware, spyware, privacy threats, and vulnerable apps. Nowadays it’s not unusual to hear about mobile ransomware. Ransomware refers to programs that target important files and documents. These are then encrypted and are only released back to their owners pending a financial transaction.
Spyware collates data without your knowledge. A similar issue was that of Carrier IQ.
One of the greatest things about mobile phones is that it can now connect to the internet. Web-based threats are normally confined to actual computer systems.
Empowering users is a good way to avoid phishing scams, adware, viruses, and worms.
If you’ve ever been warned to avoid “free” public Wi-Fi, you’d be wise to do so. Public Wi-Fi is intrinsically unsecure. Hackers can intercept critical information like credit cards, names, and addresses. If you use public Wi-Fi, it would be best to treat it like everything you do can be seen by a third-party.
There is a reason why phones are often targets of physical robberies. Not only is the hardware worth a lot of money, the information criminals can harvest from the physical phone is worth even more. Identity theft, the fraudulent use of another person’s information, is a booming market.
Terrible people used to go through mailboxes and trash bins to find sensitive information. Now, they target mobile devices.
You are part of your security
As there will be more and more threats that will be launched, it is paramount that users be made part of the defense of their mobile devices. While hardware and software developers are constantly coming up with better ways to safeguard their users, it is the users themselves who must stop undermining security efforts.
It is important to read up on the latest threats and vulnerabilities your system is exposed to. Avoid unfamiliar apps and suspicious public Wi-Fi access. In the end, the strongest point of security is you.