As more mobile devices inundate the market and ultimately end up in the hands of consumers, cyber attacks are increasing at a record rate. Threats to these popular devices saw a dramatic increase in 2012 with even higher numbers expected in 2013 and beyond. The focus for hackers seems to have changed from attacking personal computers to aggressively concentrating on the more vulnerable mobile devices. The challenge for consumers it to recognize the threat to their security and take steps to avert these cyber crimes, before becoming a victim.
The world of mobile devices provides a target-rich environment for the sophisticated tactics cyber attackers practice. The sheer number of unprotected devices opens up numerous opportunities for those bent on hacking all types of sensitive information. Cyberspace is no longer a safe, friendly environment to browse the web or send emails. Because of their flexibility and convenience, smartphones, laptops and tablets appear to be here to stay.
The advent of mobility of technical devices makes it easier for individuals to stay in touch and even engage in business transactions anytime and anywhere. Many office workers use the same devices to access business files and engage in personal conversations. This practice is risky as it opens up the possibility of access to sensitive company data. Even though they are convenient productivity tools, their use carries the risk of becoming susceptible to attacks.
The intent of most cyber attacks is to disrupt businesses and cause problems for users. The fact that millions of consumers own and carry Smartphones and iPhones most of the time makes them the perfect target for cyber attackers. Businesses face a double-edged sword by allowing transactions to take place from a mobile device. Even though productivity climbs when employees have instant access to clients and sensitive data, the risk of a security breach also increases. Corporate executives find themselves faced with the challenging problem of how to control the devices without hindering productivity in the process.
Because all mobile device users are vulnerable to cyber attacks, finding the best way to prevent them is not a simple task. It is important that the security approach to limiting these attacks be more proactive rather than reactive. Cyber security is a field that changes rapidly and requires constant monitoring in order to provide users with the latest tools of prevention. It is critical to understand the best preventative techniques and apply them to avoid a cyber disaster.
The devices themselves can help provide the user with a certain measure of protection. All of them have the capability of password-protected locks that prevent unauthorized access. Cyber attackers never take a break and are always searching for ways to infiltrate phones and other devices. Installing intrusion detection devices such as firewalls and anti-malware software is a preventative measure that helps deter many would-be attackers from proceeding with their plans.
To make a mobile device less vulnerable to a cyber attack, it is a good idea not to download unknown third-party applications. The possibility of inadvertently allowing unauthorized access to a device is reduced by limiting installation of any unsigned third-party applications. Once a suspect third-party application is downloaded on a device, the cybercriminal has complete control and takes over.
One of the best ways to protect against cyber attacks is to perform routine updates on all devices. This provides a protective barrier against malware and other damaging attacks, but even this defensive move has limitations due the complexity of the cyber attacks. Those determined to exploit devices will remain a security threat as they continue their advance toward targeting individuals and businesses.
The best overall defense against targeted cyber attacks is increased awareness of the vast scope of the problem. It is up to individuals and companies to practice vigilance when using all devices. Companies and organizations must stay on top of the growing problem and make certain that security measures and technologies are constantly in place in order to help eliminate future threats and attacks. Awareness is the first step toward making progress in the fight against cybercrime, which is one of the fastest growing enterprises in the world today.