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Mobile Endpoint Threats: Is Your Business Protected?

Mobile Endpoint Security Threats

Now that BYOD policies are becoming commonplace across the globe, there is a risk of becoming blasé about the mobile devices your employees are using to access sensitive work data. If you assume that your business is protected from mobile threats or just don’t think it’s a big deal, you’re making a big mistake.

Ask yourself these questions: Am I 100% sure that my employees’ devices are free from vulnerabilities? Do they always download apps from official app stores? Would they be able to recognize a spoof WiFi hotspot?

If you have any doubts – and be honest, business leaders: you probably do – make sure you first consult with an endpoint security specialist like the ones at Shamrock Consulting Group who can help analyze the level of risk on your network and develop a comprehensive protection plan.

Mobile endpoint threats can be broken down into three broad categories:

Mobile Device Threats

Mobile App Threats

Mobile Network Connection Threats

Mobile Device Threats

All mobile devices have software vulnerabilities which can be exploited by malicious hackers. In most cases, the security provided by iOS or Android can mitigate these flaws (but not always).

This relies on the software being frequently updated. While most smartphones receive OS updates quickly, some lower-end smartphones have to wait longer. In addition, some smartphone owners choose to disable automatic updates altogether.

Out-of-date operating systems increase the time window that hackers have to exploit your associated devices and potentially access your enterprise network.

Another risk includes ‘rooting,’ which can apply to Android and iOS devices. ‘Rooting’ is where a device is hacked and the hacker gives themselves elevated privileges. They can then remove some inbuilt security features in preparation for future attacks. ‘Rooting’ is also one aspect of iOS jailbreaking, which includes modifying iOS and sideloading unofficial apps.

Misconfigured devices can also pose a security threat for businesses operating a BYOD policy, so don’t overlook proper configurations!

Mobile App Threats

Downloading mobile apps always poses a level of risk, but those risks are multiplied when

apps are downloaded from outside of the official Google Play or Apple App stores. This is known as ‘sideloading’ and can either be deliberate or the result of a cyber-attack (e.g. an iOS jailbreak).

A modified app can contain trojans or spyware for exfiltrating data from a mobile device to a third party. For employees who store and/or transmit sensitive data using their smartphones or tablets, this could result in disaster.

Even if data isn’t actually stolen, its potential exposure could put you at risk of non-compliance with industry regulations (e.g. PCI-DSS), which is not somewhere you want your business to be.

Mobile Network Connection Threats

Even if all of your employees’ devices are watertight and every app is free of bugs, there are still risks when connecting to the internet.

Connecting via WiFi hotspots can put you at risk of man-in-the-middle attacks whereby a third party places themselves between you and your intended destination. One method for achieving this is WiFi spoofing, where the attacker sets up a WiFi hotspot and simply gives it a similar name to the one you might be expecting to access in a legitimate way (e.g. walmartstore, starbuckscompany, etc.)

Once you’ve established a connection with the spoofed hotspot, hackers can carry out techniques such as SSL stripping. This is where they trick the destination server into establishing a secure https connection with them while they communicate through insecure http with you.

Other nefarious tactics include internet route hijacking, which uses flaws in BGP protocols to trick Certificate Authorities into issuing valid certificates for spoof websites.

Looking for other types of security solutions? We’ve got a lot!

Shamrock Can Help Improve Your Security Posture

Despite being a bit of an afterthought in the minds of many business owners, the chances of falling victim to a mobile endpoint data breach are far higher than you’d probably expect.

Good news is, you don’t have to completely alter or trash your company’s BYOD policy –you just need to make your business environment more secure.

As an award-winning IT consultancy, Shamrock partners with the best and most decorated endpoint security providers in the industry. And, as a vendor-neutral consultant, we’ll give you a full market of options to review, offer the pros and cons of each solution, then support whichever provider’s solution you choose.

We offer consultations and analysis to our customers for free, so don’t wait – let’s talk about your current endpoint security provisioning and how Shamrock can help make your network as close to bulletproof as possible.

We can also secure you great prices you simply wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere. Contact Shamrock today for an initial conversation about your enterprise needs.

Paul Cooney

Paul Cooney

Paul Cooney is the Founder and President of Shamrock Consulting Group with over two decades of experience in the telecom industry. After finding early success selling fixed wireless for Teligent, Inc. in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, he took over AT&T struggling Los Angeles sales team and turned them into one of the best teams in the country within 6 months. In 2008, Paul left AT&T to start Shamrock, which he has grown into an award-winning industry leader capable of selling any product from any provider at the guaranteed best price.

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