Consistently the big brands will bring out a new smartphone, loaded with new exciting technology, but these smartphones come with risks. The rise of mobile phones, especially in business use, has led to cyber-criminals targeting companies and prominent people through vulnerabilities in their latest iPhone or Android. So how can we protect against them?
Firstly, the goal of these criminals is often to break the security system in a phone to have access to and steal high-value personal or sensitive information that they can then ransom back for big sums of money. Also, the criminals can listen to private conversations, track SMS or find out about important decisions taken by senior executives.
The revelation in August 2016, that Pegasus spyware could be installed on a phone only by clicking a disguised link still shocked many. Pegasus is a spy software which can be installed on devices running certain versions of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system.
This piece of malware is capable of SMS tracking, collecting passwords, tracing the phone's location, tracking calls, and collecting data from applications, including iMessage, Gmail, Viber, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype.
The Steps We Can Take
First of all, passwords need to be changed from factory settings, as anyone who recalls the UK’s phone-hacking scandal should know. Whether in private hands or part of an organization’s IT estate, devices need solid passwords that are constantly changed.
Given the critical relationship between mobility and cloud apps, confirmation for application accounts in the cloud should likewise be solid. For businesses supervision of these accounts is better to be under their direct control rather than the control of employers. For businesses, it is also required the patching of their mobile phone management systems, which can themselves become gateways to the phones.
Although mobile operating systems sellers have constructed their products to shut out cyber criminals, the reality is that new weaknesses are constantly found. It is important the users ensure all the patches and updates. Patches make it harder for hackers, requiring them to invest more energy and effort to find new zones of weakness to exploit.
Also, a big advantage for businesses if they utilize the latest versions of the operating systems utilized by their smartphones. While this may be costly, it surely gives them the assurance from security architecture created to combat the recent dangers. It is important too, to get endeavors from vendors that security updates will continue to be provided for a set period and when that terminates, those devices should be decommissioned.
Securing your applications
With Google and Apple having roughly two million applications available, criminals are prepared to abuse their coding weaknesses or to assemble completely malicious versions.
Users should be aware with legitimate new applications that the typical pattern is for security to be remiss when they are first launched and afterward increase consistently to uptake. The best practice obviously requires the buy of applications from only legitimate vendors, along with the acceptance of all security updates.
These are all steps users and businesses can take to secure themselves, however telecommunications companies need to have their impact as well by testing their networks for weaknesses using the target security expertise of consultancies. Specialists who are a master in telecommunications will join their abilities with ethical hackers to recreate a full-scale cyber-attack, uncovering the weaknesses and giving the specialized expertise to settle the problems.
With the multiplication of cybercrime and state-sponsored hacking, it is important that users and businesses take the security far more seriously. Neglect could be equivalent to leaving the doors unlocked.