Threats Against Mobile Business Users

Threats Against Mobile Business Users

One of the most enticing aspects of mobile devices is that they are free to move around and interact with a variety of systems and environments. These capabilities are also disadvantages though if the right security measures are not implemented. Because of the increased mobility, tablets and smartphones are susceptible to even more security risks than typical desktop hardware is.

Increased security risks are associated with mobile devices, especially since enterprise professionals are accomplishing tasks that were not previously possible before without a firewall. The best secure enterprise messaging app will not allow for breaches or jeopardizing data of any kind.

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Threats can affect the application, device, communication networks and even the enterprise if data is leaked.

Application Threats

In a professional group messaging environment, enterprises must be focused on identity, confidentiality and privacy when selecting an application. Application security is becoming even more of an issue due to the increased prevalence of mobile apps intended for messaging communication. In a recent study, it was found that 90% of Android apps, 30% of iOS, and 33% of company apps that were examined had major security flaws. Since sensitive data is a primary component of conducting business, data is willingly put at risk when flawed applications meant for consumer use are relied on. Cybercriminals have created various methods to obtain personally identifiable information and steal identities by infecting your smartphone through texts or an SMS message.

Fines have been imposed upon organizations that have shared private consumer or company data on WhatsApp. Companies must insist on utilizing the best secure enterprise messaging app to avoid costly legal issues.

Public applications such as WhatsApp, Threema, and Signal have encryption defects; specifically, the levels of security within each of these apps are not as strong as they are held out to be. There are issues with the ways that Whatsapp, Threema, and Signal keep groups encrypted, which could cause entry by unapproved users to groups.

On Whatsapp and Threema, the server controls the member of the groups. A server can place any user in the group, which means that the encryption is only safe if the server can be trusted. Signal makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to be added to a group because they rely on a unique group ID to add users to the groups; however, members know these IDs and at any point they can give themselves access again if they are ever removed.

Applications like these are consumer-grade and also risk the privacy of IP addresses and contacts, subsequently violating GDPR Compliance laws (specifically the Right to be Forgotten).

Your enterprise would be much more secure by depending on a secure enterprise messaging app that has the capability to:

  • Incorporate privacy by design and secure storage;
  • Separate the contact list on the device from the private contacts authorized for business use;
  • Increase teamwork through encrypted calls, chat administration, conference, and video calling capabilities that divulges geo-location sharing;
  • Implement secure file sharing through which secure notes can be shared from meetings;
  • Allow for chat administration to send and receive information that is sent by clients or remote employees safely through secure messaging with built-in read receipts and message auto destruction features; and
  • Safeguard data in transit through cloud or on-premise deployments.

Device Threats

Mobile devices are being used more frequently for successful business communication, however, the kinds of mobile malware are becoming more robust, common, and capable. As mobile trojans and ransomware become more prevalent, a majority of the mobile-based enterprise activities that run on these devices are not secure.

The threats are frequent. In 2018, the incidences of mobile malware reached 1,744,244, which was an increase of nearly half a million more than the number of incidences than the quarter before. Organizations simply can’t afford to go without a secure enterprise messaging app for numerous reasons. 

Mobile Network Threats

Alarmingly, most mobile networks are vulnerable to security threats, which could jeopardize sensitive customer data and proprietary business information. Since mobile communication network security is relatively low, another threat to consider is a mobile communication network SS7 (Signaling System No 7) infringement.

An intruder can misuse security flaws to the point where SMS messages and calls could be intercepted. This can drastically impact the operability of mobile networks. Even more concerning is that the intruder can bypass billing authentication and steal funds from mobile bank accounts. Almost all networks are vulnerable, and cybercriminals are highly familiar with the existing flaws.

Fortunately, mobile network operators are familiar with the security weaknesses that signaling networks have. They are beginning to add further measures of security to reduce the weaknesses, like obstructing and filtering signaling traffic. Regardless, the issues that affect certain aspects of SS7 network architecture cannot be entirely resolved through such systems.

It’s imperative to intermittently monitor and analyze messages that pass through network boundaries to ensure possible attacks are prevented. All that is necessary to do this is an attack response and detection system that is capable of distinguishing forbidden actions early on. It’s also important to block requests that are suspicious or that present data to third-party structures. Each of these safeguards helps to maximize the strength of current security methods.

Finally, operators are deploying secure communication and collaboration for their enterprise customers to fight over the top messaging apps revenue erosion.

Enterprise Threats

If a device is hacked, the intellectual property of an enterprise could be at risk, threatening the entire enterprise. These types of assets are extremely valuable and often are the most substantial company resources. An enterprise’s value can be made up of 80% intellectual property, and there are many additional reasons to safeguard it.

Your intellectual property could:

  • Be a differentiating factor between your organization and your competitors;
  • Give clients a distinctive offer, product, or service;
  • Be licensed and sold, creating incoming revenue;
  • Make up an important aspect of your branding or marketing; and
  • Be utilized as loan collateral.

If your organization’s data is breached, there are many areas that could be at risk, including:

  • Business copyright;
  • Trademarks;
  • Designs (logo, name, and branding);
  • Inventions; and
  • Intellectual or creative work.

Consumer applications are often not encrypted in any way, which means that a great deal of intellectual property is at risk when they are utilized for business purposes. Also, mobile devices are exposed to the same danger on that desktop and laptop computers are faced with due to intellectual property theft and data exposure.

Since malicious attacks are becoming more prevalent and ransomware has the ability to lock devices, it’s imperative to know what security measures your enterprise has in place to combat the various threats.

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