Part 2: What hackers can do with a mobile device

Part 2: What hackers can do with a mobile device

Mobile devices, nowadays, are integral to how we work and play. But, with increasing cyberattacks against individuals and businesses, it is no surprise that mobile devices are now considered to be one of the weakest links in the IT infrastructure of most enterprises.

A recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research found that the cost of a mobile breach is similar to that of a desktop or laptop breach, but the risk of data loss is actually higher.

Now, we’ve already talked about how to prevent this kind of data breach from happening, but what if, unfortunately, you weren't able to do so? What's actually at stake if hackers were indeed successful in their attack? How are they able to cause damage to companies with relatively small operations with just a smartphone or a tablet?

These are questions we at F1 Solutions have been seeing a lot of recently, and there’s no better way to answer them than by looking at some definite examples.

Employee and customer records

One of the first things hackers target is personally identifiable information -- such as date of birth, home address, or social security number -- to steal someone’s identity.

Financial information

Unless you’re among the dwindling number of companies that solely rely on cash, you deal with credit cards, bank account numbers, and other financial records. So, even if you run a modest-sized dentist’s office or marketing firm, hackers could easily help themselves with a with a five-digit payout.

Private documents that may lead to extortion

Despite what some small-business owners might believe, ransomware isn’t just hype. With the advent of ransomware, hackers no longer need to target specific types of information and have made a gradual shift from computers to handheld devices as an increasing number of people are using them.

The Dimensional Research survey also found that phishing attacks using text messages, intercepted calls over a mobile carrier's network, and key logging have occurred at several companies.

Security professionals have reported a broad range of successful attacks against their organization’s mobile devices, too.

So, how can you tell whether your mobile device has been compromised? Here are some symptoms to look out for:

#1 Your smartphone or tablet seems slower than before

Malware running in the background can impact the performance of legitimate apps on a device, and malware transmissions can slow down a device's network connection.

#2 Your device is sending or receiving strange text messages

If your friends or colleagues report receiving messages that you didn't send, something may be amiss (this is true for emails as well). Likewise, if you see strange text messages coming in, they may be related to a breach.

#3 New unfamiliar apps are installed on your device

While your device manufacturer or service provider may install apps from time to time due to updates, if unauthorized apps are appearing out of nowhere you need to make sure they are legitimate.

#4 Your device's battery drains more quickly than before

Extra code running in the background (for example, malware that is constantly monitoring and capturing user activity and relaying it to third parties) uses battery power. If you find the device is dying quicker than usual, it could be a red flag that an outsider has gained access.

#5 Your device is physically hotter than before

Similarly, a mobile device that runs hot could be infected with malware, since the program will constantly run in the background.

But, something to also consider is that Apple recently admitted that aging lithium ion batteries in iPhones could cause trouble in their operating systems or unexpected shutdowns, so you might not want to forget to check this.

At F1 Solutions, we fully understand the importance of having the right technology and policy in place to help improve data security and build a more efficient management system. If you’re ready to transform your business for the better, speak to our team today.

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