Mobile devices make up 60% of an organization’s endpoints.

On average, each employee has access to 11 million files.

Nearly 100% of organizations reported facing mobile threats that used multiple attack vectors, with 93% of these attacks originating from a device’s network.

The remote workforce is increasingly mobile. With more workers being mobile-first, there has been a flood of new mobile devices—like smartphones, tablets, and laptops—entering the market and accessing valuable corporate data.  

The eight primary threats to your mobile device security in the enterprise include:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  2. Malicious or risky apps
  3. Man in the Middle (MiTM) attacks
  4. Mobile ransomware
  5. Operating system (OS) exploitation
  6. Social engineering
  7. Unsecured public Wi-Fi
  8. Rogue, lost, or stolen mobile devices

1. Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

IoT devices are nonstandard computing devices that connect wirelessly to a network and contain processing ability, sensors, and software. 

IoT devices can transmit data over the internet or other networks, connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems. Most new wireless devices—including smart home tech, voice assistants, wearables, and smart security—are considered IoT devices. 

Since IoT devices are, by default, connected to the internet and wireless networks, they can be remotely monitored and controlled, which also means the possibility for exploitation exists. For this reason,  IT and security teams should evaluate corporate-owned IoT devices and network connections frequently to ensure data security.

2. Malicious or Risky Apps

Up to 46% of organizations report at least one employee has downloaded a malicious mobile application on a corporate-owned device in the last year.

Malicious or risky apps can be difficult to detect because they often look normal but secretly steal information and user data in the background.

With a malicious app, cybercriminals can leak sensitive information like contacts, emails, locations, passwords, and much more.

Risky apps are different than malicious apps, as they don’t contain manipulative features, but have privacy or security issues due to how they were developed.

3. Man in the Middle (MiTM) Attacks

In a man in the middle (MiTM) attack, a cybercriminal tries to break or secretly alter the line of communication between two parties who are privately communicating with each other. 

A MiTM attack allows cybercriminals to access the data flowing to and from the mobile devices involved in the conversation, stealing sensitive information without the violated parties knowing. 

It’s common for a MiTM attack to occur if both parties are connected to public Wi-Fi networks. People should approach public Wi-Fi networks with caution since their security is often unknown.

4. Mobile Ransomware

Mobile ransomware is a type of malicious software hackers use to lock and encrypt a user’s mobile device, suspending files until a ransom payment is received. The hackers then restore file access by providing a decryption key.

Since it’s common for organizations to issue mobile devices to their employees, mobile ransomware has become a more damaging malware variant, as hackers can execute bigger—and more expensive—attacks by targeting large corporations. 

Ransomware attacks can be prolonged and difficult to resolve, as hackers likely will not negotiate the ransom amount. Cybercriminals often threaten to permanently revoke access if a payment doesn’t meet their demands or isn’t received within their specified timeframe.

5. Operating System (OS) Exploitation

An operating system (OS) is a central software that manages resources and executes user programs. An operating system acts as an intermediary between users and a device’s hardware, as it’s the feature that allows users to perform functions.

OS exploitation is an attack hackers initiate to leverage vulnerabilities within a mobile device’s OS via code, bugs, or unpatched systems (which lack security updates) to gain access to the system.

If a cybercriminal gains unauthorized access, they can steal sensitive information, data, or gain access to an organization’s files. OS exploitation attacks emphasize the importance of keeping all devices up to date.

6. Social Engineering

A social engineering attack occurs when a cybercriminal disguises a fake email (known as phishing) or text message (known as smishing) as a legitimate piece of communication. 

Phishing attacks account for more than 80% of reported security incidents.

The fake message appears as an authentic message coming from a friend or a coworker to trick an individual into responding and providing confidential information. 

Once the recipient responds to the message with the requested information, the cybercriminal can launch more attacks or access passwords, sensitive data, and financial information.

7. Unsecured Public Wi-Fi

Up to 22% of consumers have detected malicious software on a Wi-Fi network.

Public Wi-Fi is less safe to use due to most networks being unsecured. Hackers can disguise fake Wi-Fi hotspots in public spaces with real network names to look legitimate, tricking people into connecting to the network.  

Once a device connects to the fake network, hackers can capture device data, enabling them to steal sensitive information like credit card numbers, contacts, location information, files, and much more.

With more people working remotely, whether from a coffee shop or an airport, there’s no way to ensure they’re not connecting to unsecured networks to conduct work.

8. Rogue, Lost, or Stolen Mobile Devices

As more people work remotely in public places like libraries or cafes, lost and stolen devices pose a larger risk to your organization.

A stolen device can be challenging to track down, as a thief could turn off ‘find my location’ features or even resell the device.

Additionally, out of 70 million devices stolen each year, only 7% are recovered. 

When a corporate-owned device is lost or stolen, the device must endure a remote cryptographic wipe and NIST-800-88-compliant data destruction to ensure that the lost or stolen device doesn’t result in a data breach. 

Organizations must also ensure every device is accounted for, recovered, processed, and wiped before being responsibly redeployed, resold, or recycled, as valuable corporate data and information are at risk.

How a Software-Driven Corporate-Owned Mobile Device Recovery and Disposition Solution Can Help Secure Mobile Devices

Mobile reCell provides a software-driven solution for corporate-owned IT asset recovery, designed to help organizations ensure data security, recover maximum value, automate manual processes, and deliver a sustainable solution.

We help companies securely recover, resell, and recycle retired corporate-owned IT assets like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. 

Our software-driven solution automates a historically manual process, allowing our customers to experience a 95% IT asset recovery rate—more than three times the industry average. Mobile reCell’s success is driven by a commitment to deliver an unparalleled customer experience with unrivaled technology.

Older IT assets are more vulnerable to security risks. For assistance with ensuring data security and protecting your valuable corporate data, visit us here.

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