Over time, mobile devices have experienced rapid development. The increase in the market purchase has made the mobile device man’s best friend — ahead of the trusty dog. Well, nearly. But there’s no doubt that the mobile device is now a man’s constant companion.
The mobile functionality, multipurpose facilities, its handy nature, and its ability to do various tasks on and off the internet make it almost impossible to live without.
Internet-connected mobile smartphones have presented many benefits to the work environment. Also, mobile devices have helped in building social networks and relationships between people.
However, in recent times, mobile devices are vulnerable and have become a breeding ground for hackers and spammers giving them access to some company data and personal databases. Furthermore, mobile devices are not often updated like personal computers (PC); hence; cyber attackers use the gap in a company’s security space to their own advantage.
In the following paragraphs, five ways mobile devices are the biggest threat to cybersecurity will be discussed.
- Malware Attacks on Smartphone Operating System
Malware is a software created by hackers to disrupt computer operation, steal sensitive information, and access private computer systems. Examples of malware include computer viruses, worms, spyware, and all other malicious programs.
In a bid to decrease Malware attacks on smartphones, IT security specialists have studied malware attacks and have created various security products to combat such attacks. However, malware attacks on smartphones are fast evolving; an example of this is seen with ZitMo “Zeus-in-the-Mobile.”
ZitMo malware is targeted mainly on Android operator’s bank apps; it attempts to bypass the two-factor authentication of the bank application, steal credentials and gain access to bank accounts, which could ultimately be disastrous for the victims.
- Social Networking and Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) Applications
Smartphones do numerous activities, like sending emails, storing contact information, passwords, and other vital data. In addition to this, smartphones are devices of choice when it comes to social networking; thus, mobile applications for social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) are another breeding ground for cyber attackers to gain personal data from smartphone users.
Social networking sites are host to a surplus of personal data. That is why malicious applications use social networking sites to steal data and yield severe consequences.
- Smartphones Permissions
Smartphones use permission mechanisms to determine what users are allowed to do in applications. The permissions are achieved through the “manifest permission” that grant these permissions to the applications independently. In turn, this process will allow an application to run independently from each other as well as from the operating system.
However, the capability of allowing applications to seek permission outside of their sandbox capabilities could be harmful to smartphones because it creates an opportunity for malware to exploit the ability to access sensitive data on Android handsets and thus install malicious software.
- Smart Mobile Web Browsers
Web browsers are the most commonly used applications on smartphones; they are used to gain access to the internet. Every browser is advanced with updated usability and ubiquity, hence, each browser consists of some perceived and real benefits.
The bad combinations
However, web browsers are more prone to vulnerabilities and cyberthreats when users access websites that hold possible risks of malware and other threats in it, for example — bookmarks paired with saved logins — for an associated site — these are a very bad combination.
The combinations have a high risk to your system and personal data because cybercriminals can gain access to your personal data and system when you visit sites with possible threats in it and can operate on your account from wherever.
- Wi-fi Interference
The security protocol used to protect the vast majority of wifi connections has been broken, likely exposing wireless internet traffic to malicious sleuth and attacks, according to the researchers who discovered the weakness.
An unsecured public wireless network combined with unsecured file-sharing could allow a malicious user to access any directories and files you have unintentionally made available for sharing.
Not all attackers rely on gaining access to your data via physically stealing your device. Attackers could have unrestricted access to all of your data, as well as any connected cloud accounts once they gain access to a free and public wireless network.
Soon, the society can expect to experience a striking increase in malware and notable advancements in malware-related attacks, not particularly directed to smartphone users as the user base has grown exponentially.
Fortunately, there are possible solutions to the rampant cybersecurity problem with smartphones. Once the society acknowledges that cybersecurity threats are detrimental not only to one smartphone user but to society as a whole, then the inception of a solution can begin.
The value of data is steadily increasing, possibly even more so than actual money. It is imperative to establish a culture of cybersecurity because this issue is multifaceted, and technology is continuously evolving.