With almost every role within organizations using their mobile devices to do their jobs, there are bound to be situations that create vulnerabilities. Hackers are taking advantage of these security gaps with mobile-specific attacks targeting those devices, making mobile device security 2021’s fastest growing cybersecurity category.
And what’s the leading attack type—ransomware. There will always be new cyberthreats, but ransomware is one that won’t be going away anytime soon. And if you’re a cybercriminal, why would you want it to? It’s highly profitable since so many companies are willing to pay, keeping the money rolling in. Plus, many organizations unintentionally meet their attackers halfway by continuing to not put the right protections in place.
These computers we carry in our pockets 24/7 have created more endpoints for cybercriminals to exploit, and they are doing a great job. If ransomware were measured as a country, it would be the world’s third largest economy, after the U.S. and China, with a gross of $6 trillion USD in 2021 alone. However, paying them off doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Paying only shows that you’re easy prey and puts a bigger target on your back. And there’s no guarantee that after you cough up the cash, you’ll get all your data back. Organizations that pay a ransom rarely recover all their data.
From large corporate attacks, think Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods which both caused huge panic among the general public and in their chains, to small municipalities like Oldsmar, Florida, who came dangerously close to having their water supply contaminated, hackers are getting even more creatively insidious in their attacks. No one is off limits or out of reach.
Manipulating users into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information can be very lucrative and easy. Usually involving clicking a malicious link or opening a file, social engineering is the top cause of data breaches on mobile devices.
Users are most likely to first encounter messages on their smartphone versus their PC. The limited display area, with smaller wording and larger buttons, makes users three-times more likely to respond to phishing attacks on smartphones versus PCs. What makes this even worse is the way people often multi-task while using their devices which amplifies the effectiveness of the attack.
Another inroad to your data is through rogue apps. Whether looking for an app to increase device functionality or an app to improve work-from-home productivity, users open the door to cybercriminals through side-loaded apps. These side-loaded apps secretly upload data for hackers to exploit.
It’s not all gloom and doom though. There are things you can do to protect yourself, your employees, and your business.
- Implement an Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution and require VPN use for anyone using a mobile device to access your network
- Require a Domain Name System (DNS) and malware protection at home and at work
- Stop using Chrome and update apps and devices when prompted
- Enable Multi-factor Authenticaton (MFA) and use password manager and/or update your passwords often
- Delete unused apps and turn off location services
For even more security best practices, check out Cisco’s webinar, Protecting Our Walking Computers From Ransomware.
Cisco’s security approach is to continuously detect threats and verify trust. By continuously detecting and remediating even the most advance threats, you can prevent attacks before they even breach the outer walls of your infrastructure. SecureX is a built-in experience in all Cisco Security products that connects data from across your Cisco Security portfolio and third–party tools in your security infrastructure to unify visibility, enables automation, and strengthens your security.
In one powerful platform, SecureX replaces the complexity of having multiple point solutions, as well as the risk. With Secure X, you can:
- Unify visibility, enable automation, and strengthen security
- Unlock strength in other security product families
- Simplify security operations
- Facilitate cloud transformation
SecureX connects your security infrastructure and enables your teams to collaborate better.
To find out more about how to protect your mobile devices, and the network they’re connected to, watch this informative webinar from i-Virtualize and Cisco.
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As a Premier Certified Cisco Partner, i-Virtualize can help you safeguard your business, endpoint to endpoint. Contact us and learn how we can help ensure your walking computers don’t walk off with your data.