11:42 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell

Smartphones Call For Security-Smarter Users

Smartphones, and all the other smartstuff filling our pockets, bags, lives, make for mobile convenience and access -- including access by crooks. Time to get your smartphone-using staff to dial up their security practices.

Smartphones, and all the other smartstuff filling our pockets, bags, lives, make for mobile convenience and access -- including access by crooks. Time to get your smartphone-using staff to dial up their security practices.A world of information, communication and connection in your hand (or budded to your ear). That's the smartphone promise, and it's a promise more and more of us are taking up.

Which means that more and more of us need to take a hard look at our smartphone security practices.

Trend Micro reported this summer, for instance, that 44% of smartphone users thought Internet access was safer via the phone than computer.

While there's a certain insulation from OS-specific attacks, that's a limited and ultimately false security. Purely in and of themselves, smartphones aren't safer than any other connected technology. If there's information on a device, and the device is connected, and its user is receiving e-mail and surfing the Web -- well, you complete the call.

Malware links, phishmail, texting, social network scams, all the other ploys crooks use to catch unwary users offguard can be just as effective over the phone as over the PC.

Yet less than a quarter of the smartphone users the security company surveyed had installed the security software that came with their phones.

And of course smartphones are small, making them more easily stolen -- or left behind by a user -- than a notebook. CNN quotes one Symantec security expert as saying that smartphones are a stunning 15 times more likely to be lost than a notebook!

Because so many employees are using personal smartphones and devices for business purposes -- and you really ought to have a policy on that -- it can be tricky to ask to see the device and review its protection levels.

But making sure that every employee using a smart device for any business purpose has the device password protected, has securityware installed and updated regularly, and understands that a smartphone isn't only a communication and connection platform, it's also a threat environment, is among the most important security calls you can make.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SEC: Companies Must Disclose More Info on Cybersecurity Attacks & Risks
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  2/22/2018
Facebook Aims to Make Security More Social
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  2/20/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.