Your company’s network security is the dike holding back the cybercrime flood. If there’s a crack anywhere in the dike (and no little Dutch boy to plug the hole with his finger), your entire network is at risk.
So, what does that mean for your company now that we’ve entered the mobile-network age? Desktop computers and laptops are one thing, but now you have all those mobile devices to protect. It’s time to look at mobile network security.
It’s Not Just for PCs Anymore
You can protect your company’s desktop computers and laptops until your IT manager is blue in the face. But your network won’t be secure until you’ve protected mobile devices as well.
As IT professionals cringe, more and more of us are using our mobile devices for work. (And not just workers whose mobility is part of their jobs, as in the home healthcare industry.)
Our mobile devices are powerful enough that many of us can work on the go. We don’t need to be in the office to communicate with coworkers, do our work or even log into applications tied to our company’s network.
However, the convenience our mobile devices give us comes at a cost. If somewhere along the dike a crack develops (i.e., a cybercriminal hacks into an employee’s mobile phone or tablet), that crack can spread to the rest of the dike.
Mobile Network Security Might Be Scarier Than You Think
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend continues to grow. Employees, especially remote employees, want to use their own mobile devices for work. So, why is that a problem?
Well, everyone knows computers are at risk. We may not understand exactly how they are at risk or where the threats are coming from, but we know that hackers are out there and they may target our computers at some point.
However, does everyone know that mobile devices are at risk too? Unfortunately not.
Although companies spent many years building up their network defenses for PCs, most have spent little time securing the network for smartphones. But there are a great deal more mobile devices than PCs, and the sheer volume changes the way security needs to be approached.
At the same time, most users are unaware of the mobile danger… In fact, Symantec’s 2013 Norton Report showed that 57 percent of adults were unaware that security solutions even existed for mobile devices.
So, as of 2013, less than half of all consumers realized their mobile devices were at risk. While more consumers are aware of the threat today, the vast majority of us still don’t take proper steps to secure our devices.
Check out these data points from the 2016 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report:
- Almost half of consumers (44%) believe there are too many mobile devices out there for hackers to find and target them individually.
- More than 75% of consumers know they need to be proactive to protect their personal information, yet they still “share passwords and engage in other risky behaviors.”
- About 35% of global consumers have at least one unprotected device.
- A vast majority (80%) of consumers who did something risky ended up paying for it (e.g., device compromised, important personal information stolen, complete identity theft).
- Many victims of cybercrime don’t change their behavior.
And so, given all of that, it’s easy to understand why IT professionals across the globe feel like they’re banging their heads against the wall. Cybercrime relies on human complacency and stubbornness—without it, no phishing scam would ever work. Unfortunately, we’re playing into their hands.
Yes on Mobile Network Security
Your company’s network might be a mobile one, whether you know it or not. But how can you protect your company’s vital information from prying eyes when you don’t control all of the devices on your network?
Chances are, your employees are using their mobile devices for work. And, unfortunately, chances are many of them don’t even know that their mobile devices are at risk. Which means mobile network security is up to you. If you haven’t already, it’s time to look at all the devices on your company’s network and make sure they’re secure.