The rapid digitization of businesses has posed a major security risk on corporate data. Therefore, to achieve competitive advantage and increase customer loyalty, enterprises need to enforce reliable protection measures to increase security of corporate assets, data and the complete IT infrastructure. This means that you need to take your IT security strategy to a whole new level.
Following are the 7 causes of malware and how enterprises can prevent it from reaching corporate devices:
Unprotected Browsing – Without any IT control, employees are free to browse any website over the internet or download any application. However, due to this, employees might browse unsecure websites or install malicious apps on their devices. This unhindered freedom might invite risks posed by attackers through unprotected websites and virus laden apps.
Malware attacks through infected apps, websites, emails can pose threat to the confidential data present in the devices and damage your brand image. Therefore, one of the ways to protect corporate devices from such attacks is to leverage a mobile device management solution. MDM software helps enterprises to lock down corporate devices and restrict them to run a single or multiple business specific apps. It restricts third party application installation on devices and prevents employees from exiting the lockdown mode. In case of a security breach, the admin can get instantly notified to protect confidential enterprise data.
Pre Installed Malware – Keeping corporate devices safe from malware is difficult for enterprises. And, it is true that much of the security flaws surface on older devices. However, as per a report by MalwareBytes, privacy violating malware has come pre installed on an increasing number of smart devices.
According to Cnet, pre installed malware has been discovered on more than 7.4 million Android devices. The malware had the ability to take over devices and install applications in the background while committing ad fraud.
The attackers offer genuine services, however, hide the malware in the apps they provide. They convince manufacturers to include their apps by default on devices. The worst part is that these apps might be crucial for your device functioning, which means that the security risks they bring can only be neutralized by the device manufacturer.
Thus, to keep your business secure from this pre installed malware, enterprises need to research about device purchases in advance. Moreover, if the core applications of a device such as settings and more belong to a third party, the organizations need to carefully scrutinize the security of those applications.
Jailbreaking or Rooting Attempts – A jailbreaking or rooting is a process which removes the limitations imposed by the device manufacturer. It enables owner to eliminate restrictions that the manufacturer puts in place and takes complete control of the device bypassing any security policies. This allows the owner to install any third party applications on the device from outside the app store.
On a jailbroken or a rooted device, the user can install any third party software and remove any security restrictions. The user can easily modify the operating system and its security level. This opens the door to attackers. Moreover, removing access restrictions for device memory can pose a security threat to the confidential data contained in the devices.
However, with the help of mobile device management software, the admin can get real time alerts in case of rooting or jailbreaking attempts, unauthorized use of devices. This helps enterprises to make informed decisions to increase security of their confidential enterprise data.
Outdated OS Versions – People often do not pay any attention on the notifications which ask them to update their OS versions. This causes their mobile phones to stay outdated and be devoid of any security updates. Attackers can take advantage of software vulnerabilities in operating systems as well as browsers and pose a security threat to the confidential data contained in the corporate devices.
Therefore, enterprises need to update their corporate devices regularly. Keeping the software up to date is critical and secures the device against attackers.
Phishing Attacks – This type of attack takes place when an employee is tricked into opening malicious files, links or installing applications which contain malware. The medium for these types of attacks can be an email, SMS or malicious web login pages. The attacker can pretend to be someone legitimate and trick employees into providing confidential enterprise data such as customer information, social security numbers, password, banking information and more.
One of the ways to prevent such types of attacks is to educate your employees as well as customers that if they ever receive such kind of emails then how to identify them whether they are legitimate or not. Organizations must tell their workers as well as clients what they might be asked for and what will never be asked of them.
Unsecure Wi-Fi and Hotspots – Employees who work from remote locations, sometimes need to access open Wi-Fi or hotspot networks to complete their tasks. However, most of the free Wi-Fi networks or hotspots are unencrypted as well as unprotected and are easy to manipulate. This helps attackers to create duplicate SSIDs by showing malicious Wi-Fi as a legitimate access point.
Thus, the employees are tricked into joining their controlled network. This allows attackers to perform numerous MITM (Man In The Middle) attacks and steal confidential data from corporate devices. Therefore, to prevent such kinds of attacks, IT team must enforce security policies onto the devices before handing them to the workers.
Failure to Encrypt Confidential Data – There are numerous opportunities for attackers to intercept and steal your confidential enterprise data. Thus, an effective data protection strategy for organizations across the world includes data encryption. Encrypting your enterprise data makes it unreadable to unauthorized users. Enterprises can encrypt sensitive data such as banking information, employee as well as customer data, corporate apps, files, and more. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing business information and enhances security of corporate data.
Summing it up:
Data breaches can have a major impact on an organization. They do not only pose a security threat to your confidential information but can completely damage your brand image. Therefore, it is crucial for enterprises to be aware of these threats and take informed decisions to increase security of corporate data.
The author Dennis P. Reed possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology.