Gartner: Growing Trend of Targeted Attacks Puts Mobile Security at Risk

Targeted Attacks - Stats from Symantec (2012)

Gartner noted the growing adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and how using personal devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, enables a company to be more productive by connecting employees on the move so they can do their jobs from anywhere at any time. The advisory company also remarked how mobile security is key to future business success as it can make operations a lot easier and more efficient.

As BYOD continues to evolve, applying mobile security practices is becoming paramount to mitigate, if not prevent, attacks; according to Lawrence Pingree, research director at Gartner, it is important to secure enterprise mobility and also ensure endpoint compliance. He believes businesses of all sizes that adopt personal devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, in the work center face high-level risks and security concerns.

Targeted Attacks - Stats from Symantec (2012)

What Gartner stressed is that companies ought to look into securing mobile apps and data more closely, in order to deter malicious hackers that are eager to exploit early BYOD chaos and plan or launch attacks against mobile employees. Employers are urged to set the security bar higher and supervise mobile security, manage associated devices, and exploit access control methods—by using a software authentication solution or an encrypting file system—to control which employees have access to corporate networks and applications.

The research mentioned that advanced targeted attacks are coming from hackers who seek out new ways to further penetrate the network through personal devices infected by malware. Individuals can then place their company network at risk; mobile applications and data become vulnerable to be compromised by hacktivists, unless secured.

Without mobile security, a targeted victim may be subjected to an attack where a malicious person could impersonate him/her to gain access to sensitive information or, worse, do damage to the IT infrastructure.

Mobile analysts from the Aberdeen Group believe “employee-owned mobile devices pose a greater risk to the enterprise than mobile devices supplied by the company.” No one is immune to targeted mobile attacks. BYOD presents new security risks and increased vulnerability of security breaches. This is a new problem for employers and IT specialists who need to quickly learn to face this new threat.

With more businesses gradually adopting BYODs, more stringent measures and effective mobile security strategies are needed. Companies need to invest not only in security technology, but also in education for their employees; good security practices can help prevent being a target of advanced persistent attacks or threats.

To gain more information on BYODs and mobile security, be sure to follow TMC’s Mobile Securitycommunity.