When it comes to managing your organization’s mobile workforce, it pays to be aware of current and emerging security threats. IT departments must stay on top of risks through education and technology related to threat intelligence.

As more businesses develop a mobile-first IT strategy, mobile devices are becoming a new and growing endpoint for potential cyberattacks. Humans, as a known cybersecurity weak point, also need education around mobile security.

Here are some of the top security threats facing enterprises today.

Mobile ransomware, a type of malicious software designed to block access to a mobile device until a financial sum is paid, saw a significant spike in 2017, according to Kaspersky Lab. Ransomware can enter an enterprise via a malicious email attachment or similar means.

Organizations are countering ransomware by implementing enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools to lock down devices, and augmenting them with mobile threat intelligence to take a proactive look at the potential risks facing their organization.

Malicious Apps
Another attack vector to watch are malicious apps. These apps claim to perform a task when in fact they’re infecting your device with malware that can compromise both the device and any corporate data stored on it. In fact, malware has been found hiding on app stores claiming to be games and even productivity tools.

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To keep malicious apps off your corporate devices, you must have effective enterprise mobility management (EMM) policies in place, and may wish to also consider creating an enterprise app store that consists of corporate-approved apps for your mobile workforce. Samsung Knox adds another layer of protection against malicious apps that might compromise corporate data.

Mobile Spyware
Your mobile devices aren’t safe from spyware either. Spyware is a type of malware installed on a device that lets the installer access private information about an organization without their knowledge.

The best defense against spyware is an antivirus and malware detection solution installed on your corporate devices. Your corporate BYOD program should also ensure that the solution is installed before the device can access an enterprise resource.

Phishing Attacks
Even the most secure phone can become a target of a phishing attack. With a phishing attack, a malicious attacker sends a seemingly innocuous email that prompts the receiver to turn over private information like passwords.

Countering phishing attacks requires user education around email handling, as well as strong email server management.

Data Leakage
Other risks to be aware of in the public app store are riskware, which are often free and can send corporate or even personal data off a mobile device to a third-party server without your authorization.

In order to avoid online advertisers or malicious actors mining your corporate data or capturing it in transit, it’s critical to implement EMM tools to manage app usage and guard against data leakage.

Insider Threats and Lost Devices
The federal government and corporations alike are susceptible to insider threats. There are malicious insider threats where an insider, such as a disgruntled employee or contractor, downloads confidential corporate data to their mobile device to get it out of the facility.

Non-malicious insider threats can also happen. Take, for example, the trusted employee who might mistakenly leave their corporate phone or tablet in the backseat of a taxi. Such a simple mistake could lead to the device being compromised and your corporate data being exposed to a malicious actor or your chief competitor.

Combating insider threats can be a complex undertaking involving user education, security solutions and analytics to protect your corporate data.

Top Security Threats Versus the Most Secure Phone

Your mobile workforce faces evolving threats daily, and knowledge about the top mobile security risks is good for IT staff and business users alike. Secure devices, enterprise mobility management (EMM) and end-user mobile security education comprise the security layers needed to combat today’s potential mobile cyberattacks. By combining these different avenues, ITDMs can ensure their organizational data is safe on multiple levels.

Learn more about how you can use Samsung Knox to protect against mobile security threats.

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Will Kelly

Will Kelly is a freelance writer living in the Washington, DC area. He focuses on enterprise mobility and mobile security. Will also works as a contract technical writer for commercial clients. Follow him on Twitter: @willkelly

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