Digital Pickpockets: The Rising Call for Mobile Device Security

FRESNO, California – Cody Sarhan, Communications Specialist

Our lives are seamlessly integrated with smartphones; financials, photos, emails, messages, work data, and more are all sitting in your pocket like a digital coin purse, ripe for the taking. As such, ensuring the security of these devices has become a paramount concern. Mobile devices have evolved from mere communication tools to versatile companions managing our personal, financial, and professional lives. The convenience they offer is unparalleled, but so are the risks they pose. As our phones become more and more tethered to our lives, we need to take extra care that goes beyond the traditional means to safeguard them.

“Enterprises face a far greater threat from the millions of generally available apps on their employees’ devices than from mobile malware. Enterprise users casually give these riskware apps sweeping permissions, not realizing that their personal and corporate data may be sent to remote servers and advertising networks all over the world, where it can be mined by cybercriminals and hostile governments seeking access to corporate networks.” — Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace

How the Ubiquity of Mobile Devices Creates New Threats

The penetration of mobile devices globally has been nothing short of remarkable. According to recent statistics from Statista, there are over 6.9 billion smartphone users worldwide — that’s 85% of the world’s population. This ubiquity has not only transformed how we access information and connect with others, but it has also attracted the attention of cybercriminals. With more personal and sensitive data stored on these devices, they have become an enticing target for various malicious activities. As protective measures become more widely adopted, bad actors are becoming more adept and well-versed in bypassing those safeguards.

Cyberattacks are the fastest-growing crime in the U.S., and they are increasing in size, sophistication, and cost.

To protect your mobile device, you have to stay up-to-date on the latest tools to shield yourself and remain aware of the ever-evolving landscape of cyber hygiene. Operating system updates and security patches are designed to address vulnerabilities that hackers exploit. Surprisingly, many users tend to postpone or ignore these updates, unknowingly leaving their devices susceptible to attacks. Verizon’s Mobile Security Index found that 73% of organizations had experienced a major mobile-related security compromise in 2022, often due to outdated software.

Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that cybercrime would cost the world $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, a significant portion of which can be attributed to mobile-related threats. The rise of mobile malware, phishing attacks, and data breaches has exposed countless individuals to identity theft, financial loss, tarnished reputations, and privacy invasion.

Learn more: How BCT can help you and your business stay protected against rising cyber threats.

— Video courtesy of Insider Tech

The Threat of Public Wi-Fi

We’ve all been there – connecting to a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop or airport. While convenient, these networks are notoriously insecure and can serve as a playground for hackers. The Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report revealed that 69% of people polled in the US had been a victim of cybercrime, with Wi-Fi network vulnerabilities being the leading cyberthreat that they’d experienced.

How to Take Proactive Measures

  • Use Strong Passwords & Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This might sound obvious, but using strong, unique passwords for each app and account can prevent a single breach from compromising multiple services. In addition to this, enabling 2FA for account login is one of the best measures you can take to safeguard your data.
  • Biometric Authentication. Utilizing fingerprint login or facial recognition can add an extra layer of protection. But keep in mind that while this is an extra layer, it can be easily circumvented by a skilled cybercriminal.
  • Keep Software Updated. Regularly update your device’s operating system and apps to ensure you have the latest security patches and fixes.
  • Install Trusted Apps. Download apps only from official app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Be cautious of third-party app sources, as they can expose your device to malware.
  • Beware of Phishing Attempts. Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown sources. Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or pop-ups asking for personal information.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When using public Wi-Fi, connect through a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic and protect your data from potential eavesdropping.
  • Regularly Backup Data Back up your device’s data regularly to a secure cloud storage or computer. This ensures you won’t lose important information in case of device loss, damage, or theft.
  • Educate Yourself. Stay informed about the latest security threats and best practices. Being aware of potential risks empowers you to make informed decisions about your device’s security.

Learn more: How BCT can protect your business data

Why Mobile Data Security Matters for Small Businesses

Small businesses are exposed to significant mobile data protection risks, including breaches due to compromised devices containing sensitive information, leading to financial losses and reputational harm. Lost or stolen devices risk unauthorized access, while weak security policies and training may cause inadvertent breaches. Insecure apps and mobile malware compromise data, and unsecured Wi-Fi networks heighten risks.

To counter these threats, small businesses must establish strong security policies, train employees, use mobile device management, and prioritize updates, as the cost of neglecting data protection far outweighs prevention investments. We at BCT Consulting are the experts in data security and privacy protection. For more information about how BCT Consulting can help protect you and your business, contact one of our highly skilled technicians today.

BCT Consulting now has engineers servicing clients within Fresno, Clovis, Madera, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco & The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Palm Springs, and more.

Cody Sarhan | Communications Specialist, Xobee Networks

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