Smartphones have become a vital part of daily life. They make it easy for us to integrate our personal and professional lives together as they put the world of knowledge on the internet at our fingertips. From ordering groceries and making mortgage payments, to communicating and collaborating with coworkers, we can’t live without our phones. But are we doing what we need to do to protect the information and networks that we’re accessing?
The scary thing about our mobile devices is that they know more about us than we do. Not only do our phones store our pictures, passwords, and access to bank accounts, they know where we’ve been, who we’ve talked to and what we’ve said. Imagine if access to your phone landed in the wrong hands. Someone could find out virtually everything they needed to know about you.
Concerns About Mobile Security
Securing your smartphone is just as important as the security on your company laptop. Yet, many people don’t think of their phone as a target for hacking. The truth is that anything with access to the internet can pose vulnerabilities. In fact, cyber criminals use many of the same tactics to compromise smartphones that they do for PCs. Here are a few cyber criminal tactics to look out for:
- Phony apps – Malware disguised as useful apps.
- Compromised websites – Downloads malware when you visit them.
- Phishing – Email or text messages that convince you to click a link or download a file.
- Bluetooth hacking – Method of connecting to your phone via wireless connection.
- SIM card swapping – Identity theft tactic that transfers your phone number to a different phone.
Signs Your Phone Has Been Compromised
If a bad actor takes over your phone number, you’re going to know about it. However, with many cyber criminal tactics you may not know at first that someone else besides you has access to your phone.
Here are some signs that can alert you to a compromise.
- Battery drains more quickly than normal.
- Phone operation is sluggish or runs hot.
- Apps quit suddenly or phone reboots on its own.
- Unrecognized apps installed on your phone.
- Unrecognized calls, data, text or charges on your bill.
- Pop-up messages.
Apply PC Wisdom to Smartphone Security
Fortunately, most of the security tactics that you use for your other computing equipment applies when securing your phone. These are things like:
- Keep your phone operating system and apps updated.
- Password protect your phone and keep it locked.
- Use MFA and strong, unique passwords for your apps.
- Only download verified and/or company approved apps.
- Don’t use public Wifi without a private connection.
- Turn off Wifi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them.
- Know how to recognize phishing and smishing (text) messages.
Mobile Device Management in Microsoft 365
There’s good news for the security of your mobile devices if your company utilizes Microsoft 365 because it has lots of built-in security options. Your IT team can manage company devices with access policies just like they can for your workstation. They can even wipe the phone if it’s lost or stolen so that company data stays out of the wrong hands.
Intune is another service offered by Microsoft that provides mobile device management. This cloud-based service gives your IT team control over the company data and accounts that are on employees’ personal smartphones. By segregating corporate and personal usage on employees’ phones, your IT team can control access and also have the ability to wipe company data without deleting your personal stuff.
MFA and Your Mobile Device
One thing that we haven’t mentioned is that with the adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA), your smartphone has become a part of your security process. That means it’s vital to practice secure behavior to prevent bad actors from accessing your phone, and utilize mobile device management to make sure that your security tactics can’t be used against you.
Up Your Cybersecurity Game
Do you know if your IT team is doing enough to secure the mobile devices? Here at XPERTECHS, we work with clients to create cybersecurity strategy that takes into account all of the ways that your employees connect to your data and systems. Contact us to schedule a security consultation and we’ll explore what XPERTECHS managed IT and security services can do for your business – and peace of mind.