As technology advances, so too do the number of possible entry points for hackers. And mobiles are no exception; in fact, they are becoming targets for malware as fast as they are transforming the modern work space.
The movement of mobile becoming a device that no one can live without began with the consumer, who purchased their device and downloaded apps for personal use. It didn’t take long for the convenience and speed of mobile devices to be realised by businesses, however. Today, mobile devices are saving businesses many thousands of pounds in support and procurement costs each year.
Many of the apps available today allow employees to work and communicate from anywhere. Unfortunately, this can all too often mean accessing the internet over very risky and unsecured public Wi-Fi. Not only that, but even the most professional-looking app can actually be information-tracking malware which allows hackers to get hold of company data without the device owner’s knowledge.
Androids Are Most Vulnerable
Androids are one of the most popular operating systems for modern phones. They are also the most vulnerable to malware, because available Android apps are not necessarily scanned nor approved by app stores. In addition, Android apps are not traceable to their developers, as their digital certificates can be signed by anyone.
iOS Devices Are Not Immune
Although iOS devices have a more closed app and device environment that limits the locations where apps can be downloaded and approves each new app before publishing, they remain vulnerable to hackers. This is because iOS devices present a challenge to unscrupulous individuals, who have managed to infect these devices with malware in the past.
What IT Departments Can Do About Mobile Malware
Whether your company provides employees with devices or ‘buy your own device’ is encouraged, there are several things that can be done to thwart mobile malware attacks.
Those who are using their own devices can be protected by ensuring that 'enterprise mobility management software' is in place. As well, employees should be well-informed of company protocol and security when using their device for work purposes.
Employees need to be educated on the security of the applications they download for work, as well as the dangers of third-party applications. App downloads should only be permitted from authorised sources. This information can be communicated in a face-to-face meeting, or distributed to employees via email or hard copy.
If A Device Becomes Infected
There should be some kind of contingency plan in place to deal with mobile malware infections. This plan should include automatic actions, such as the instant seizure of devices where malicious apps have been found or on which compromised information has been discovered. Once the malware has been eliminated, the device can be returned to its owner.
Last Resort Actions
Some malware can reside on mobile devices for some time before it is discovered. Other malware may render a device unusable. In either case, the best solution may be to obtain professional data sanitisation or destruction services like those offered by Absolute IT.
Our data sanitisation service uses Blancco, a market-leading data erasure tool, to remove all traces of data on all manner of devices, including mobile phones. This process ensures the security of devices from beginning to end.
Our Absolute IT team also offers complete device destruction. This option can be useful in situations where new devices are being purchased, or where a device is past the point of recovery due to a malware infection. Our team ensures that no device’s data is accessible by shredding it to 6mm particulate.
All of our services include the complete documentation of the process, including which items were destroyed and when. This provides you with a detailed record of the actions taken. Whichever way you choose to deal with mobile malware, Absolute IT can ensure the safe and secure erasure or destruction of your company’s mobile data.