April 2015 Volume 10, Issue 4
Security in the Mobile Era
By 2017, the number of smartphone users in the U.S. is expected to surpass 200 million, nearly 65 percent of the population.1 Negotiating security in the face of an ever-growing implementation of mobile devices presents serious challenges for organizations. Risks include the growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) (coupled with a lack of security controls for these devices), loss/theft of devices, and the proliferation of mobile malware.
Users need to understand the risks and the steps they can take to minimize them, particularly as cybercriminals often use employees as the entry point into an organization’s network. Below are some key actions users can take to help minimize the likelihood of a successful cyber attack.
Regularly update your device.
Mobile malware increased 75% in 2014 from 20132, and further increases in malware are expected in 2015, particularly in mobile ransomware. Updated operating systems and security software are critical in protecting against emerging threats.
Enabling encryption on your smartphone is one of the best ways to safeguard information stored on the device, thwarting unauthorized access.
Use a passcode.
In case your phone ever does fall into the wrong hands, don’t make it easy for someone to access all your important information! Enable strong password protection on your device and include a timeout requiring authentication after a period of inactivity. Secure the smartphone with a unique password – not the default one it came with. Do not share your password with others.
Do not use public Wi-Fi.
Do not log into accounts and do not conduct any sensitive transactions, such as shopping or banking, while using public Wi-Fi. Disable the “automatically connect to Wi-Fi” setting on your device.
Install applications from trusted sources.
1 http://www.emarketer.com/Article/2-Billion-Consumers-Worldwide-Smartphones-by-2016/1011694 2 http://www.cnbc.com/id/102338872