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Verizon's Mobile Threat Index 2021 Brings Several Troubling Warnings about Mobile Security

What Should You Worry About With Mobile Device Use at Work?Understanding where things are currently going wrong with mobile device protection across the country can provide you with important insights for improving your mobile security to prevent a breach.

Mobile Device Breaches are Just as Serious as Other BreachesThere’s been a misconception that if a mobile device is stolen or compromised in some way, that the damage will be limited to some data loss. “After all, it’s not a computer!” But that is no longer true because mobile devices can now access all the same types of business apps and data that are accessed via a PC. If ransomware infects a mobile device, it can travel through the connected network to servers and computers to infect an entire IT infrastructure. Likewise, a data leak can cause online banking or Microsoft 365 credentials to become compromised. 1 in 25 apps has been found to leak user credentials. As a first step to properly securing mobile devices, it’s important to understand that if they’re compromised, it can be just as devastating as a computer breach.

Mobile Devices are Already Being CompromisedMobile malware, firmware hacking, and credential theft are already causing security incidents for companies. 53% of the surveyed professionals said their company suffered a mobile device-related security breach that would be classified as “major.” 40% of respondents overall said that mobile devices were the #1 IT security threat facing companies today. So, this isn’t something that’s coming. Attacks on mobile devices are already happening and causing serious security issues.

Remote Working Has Made the Problem WorseDuring the pandemic, 79% of surveyed companies experienced a sharp increase in remote working. And for many companies, work-from-home is going to become permanent due to the cost-savings and productivity increase. But mobile security often is even less secure when it comes to remote teams because companies are confused about what safeguards to put in place. (Yes, remote teams still need managed services!) 97% of respondents said that remote workers are considered a higher security risk than in-office workers. Nearly half (48%) also admitted that they sacrificed security while dealing COVID-19. So, the security lapse isn’t really because employees are working from home, but the fact that companies haven’t been keeping up with remote and mobile security standards for those WFH teams.

Users Tend to Be More Careless About Security When on MobileEmployee behavior shows that they also aren’t seeing mobile devices as serious threats to network security. They tend to adopt more careless behaviors that put mobile devices at risk of a breach or malware infection. Here are several statistics from the Verizon report that illustrate this problem:

  1. 45% of companies that prohibit social media use on company devices knew that employees visited those sites anyway.

  2. 49% of employees allow friends or family to use their work devices.

  3. 93% of users with Android devices were running out-of-date operating system versions.

  4. Between January 1 and June 30, 2020, there’s been a 600% increase in visits to adult content websites on devices used for work.

Phishing Continues to Be a Major Threat for All DevicesWith many employees accessing email on their mobile devices, phishing remains a major threat to mobile and computer security. Malware can infect a mobile device, just like it can a PC. Visits to spoofed websites that steal login credentials can cause an account compromise no matter what device is used to view it. In 2020, there was a 364% increase in phishing attempts compared to the prior year. 

Get a Mobile Security Checkup Today to Ensure You’re Not at RiskTexas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business with a mobile security checkup to review your current mobile policies and let you know if any red flags could put your network at risk. Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.

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