Employee Smartphones – Reasons Why They Could Be a Threat to Data Security

9. November 2021

These days, employees have started spending the majority of their time on their mobile devices – so much so that it has become a constant companion for many.

Sure, smartphones have become an integral part of both our personal and professional lives but did you know that these devices we can’t put down could cause mobile security threats to your organisation?

Mobile devices have not only penetrated the office space but have also become intertwined with the daily working hours. Put simply, it’s become common for employees to use both company and personal devices for work-related tasks throughout the week.

In fact, an average employee is likely to check their work emails, download attachments and use various file sync and share solutions on their mobile devices to access work remotely.

However, what they don’t realise is that this could cause a huge problem to the security of your company and its data especially if you don’t have the right measures in place.

That being said, if you’re unaware of the different mobile security threats and prevention techniques then this guide is what you need. 

In this article, our experienced IT experts have put together the reasons why cyber attackers are targeting mobile devices, the various BYOD (bring your own device) cyber security threats and the two sure-fire ways to protect your business from the same.

Let’s take a look!

 

Top Reasons Why Cyber Criminals Are Attacking Employee Smartphones

Ever since 2018, the number of cyber threats on smartphones have increased significantly. However, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they’ve become the primary target to conduct a successful cyber attack.

Here are a few reasons why mobile devices have become an easy target:

  • Employees often assume that their mobile device isn’t vulnerable to malware and viruses, and end up avoiding the additional steps to safeguard their smartphones.
  • Almost every employee has started using mobile phones on a regular basis and that has only opened doors to various mobile security threats.
  • Your mobile device carries ample data about you, including your personal and financial information, social media data, location information, passwords, confidential images and more. This makes your smartphone a treasure trove for attackers.
  • Applications have become an easy path into mobile devices; they can be easily infected with virus and malware to get hold of your data. This is more common that you think – nearly 1 in 36 mobile phones have high risk applications.

To help you find out the various threats to your business through employee smartphones at an early stage, ensure you partner with a professional IT team.

Contact Redpalm for more information!

 

Two Common Reasons Why Smartphones Can Cause Security Threats

Yes, there are several ways for cyber attackers to steal information from your employees’ mobile devices, including keyloggers, social engineering, fake websites and more.

However, below we’ve outlined two common ways your business could face mobile security threats.

 

1. Installation of Third Party Applications

As mentioned earlier, nearly 1 in 36 mobile phone users have risky applications installed on their devices.

While this might come as a surprise, there are a lot of popular applications on the app store that contain malware. For instance, when you look at the Android store, almost anyone can add an app to it – meaning, you must be very careful about what you install.

Similarly, although it’s slightly difficult to add apps on the Apple store, there have still been instances where iOS applications had malware.

Now, when it comes to cyber criminals, they know that employees install these apps in their phone and forget to use them or leverage them carelessly. This is where it could cause security threats to your organisation, as users have already given it the permission without any second thoughts.

Put simply, once the permission is granted the malware is installed in the device, giving criminals easy access to work emails, downloaded files and confidential login details.

This is why it’s crucial to have the right security measures in place to safeguard your business from every possible cyber threat.

 

2. Usage of Unsecured Wi-Fi Connection

Another way your business could suffer from mobile security threats is when your employees use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection on their smartphone.

Sure, free Wi-Fi can be very useful when on the go but it’s important to be extremely careful when using such unsecured connections. This is because cyber attackers can create fake Wi-Fi networks solely to get hold of your data. They can also infect malware in your devices, especially if you share and download files using the internet.

Moreover, they can easily infiltrate other public connections as they don’t need any authentication. By doing so, they get full access to unsecured devices and therefore your employees’ credit card details, messages and emails.

This data is then used by cyber criminals in the future to access your business apps, programs or systems pretending that it’s your employee.

Give this blog a read to find out how you can keep your business cyber secure!

 

Two Sure-Fire Ways to Protect Your Business from Mobile Security Threats

 

1. Have Managed Device Encryption In Place

Your employees don’t have to install third party apps in their devices for your business to face security issues. You could still face the same threats if your employees happen to lose or get their smartphones stolen. 

This is because it gives cyber attackers easy access to not just the device but also the confidential information it stores. They could further use this data to sell on the dark web, putting your company in danger of breaching compliance regulations or even worse, losing long-standing clients.

However, if you have robust managed device encryption in place, you can easily encrypt your business data immediately after the device is stolen or lost. 

Doing so will turn every information into nonsensical code and render it useless. Not only will it keep your confidential data safe but also enable you to decrypt it once you’ve found the device.

To get device encryption solutions installed for your business, get in touch with the experienced IT team at Redpalm today!

 

2. Ask Employees to Not Use Public Wi-Fi

As mentioned before, public wi-fi networks are unsecured connections but employees usually ignore it or don’t really understand its consequences.

However, these connections grant easy access to cyber criminals through which they can potentially intercept the information that was shared and received from your employees smartphones.

The best way here to prevent unsecured connections from causing mobile security threats is to ask employees to not use them. It’s equally important that you make them aware of the dangers of using public networks and how they can protect business data.

 

Contact Redpalm for Expert IT Support Solutions

To minimise the risk of mobile security threats on your business and maximise the overall security of your devices, systems and network, call our team today.

With years of experience in the IT industry, our expert team can take care of all your IT security needs while ensuring your organisation is always on the driver’s seat!

Drop us a line at info@redpalm.co.uk