Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

10/23/2017
05:43 PM
50%
50%

Unpatched Bugs Rampant on Mobile Devices in Financial Services Firms

More than a quarter of mobile devices used by financial services employees carry known vulnerabilities, according to a recent report.

Many financial services employees are toting around unpatched mobile devices, putting their companies and customers at risk of a data breach, a recent report found.

More than 25% of mobile devices used by financial services employees had unpatched vulnerabilities, according to Symantec's Q2 2017 Mobile Threat Intelligence Report: Mobility and Finance.

The data, gleaned from Symantec's endpoint mobile security software and other sources, also found that 15% of employees' mobile devices at financial services institutions had been exposed to a malicious network, while three in every thousand devices were infected with malware.

"If I read this report and I was Procter & Gamble, I would be asking my bank, what you are doing to protect my data when your executives are connecting to suspicious WiFi networks, or how many of your employees have phones with malware?" says Varun Kohli, a senior director at Symantec. "I would be asking these questions because my data is at risk."

And although corporate customers may find there is little they can do to protect themselves from the actions - or lack of actions - that their financial services company is taking, Kohli says that may change in the future.

"I hear enterprises are asking their software vendors to take certain steps to protect their information, but I have not heard this of the banks," Kohli says. "But companies need to also ask this of their business partners, too."

Patching Problem

Although Apple and Google may regularly patch vulnerabilities, employees at financial institutions may be unaware of the patch notifications. In part, Apple is able to push its patches out relatively easily since it controls both the hardware and software, whereas the task is more challenging for Android.

When Google issues a patch, it has to be delivered to the device manufacturer, which then performs its own version of the update if it decides to issue a patch for the flaw at all, Kohli says. 

Other findings in the report include a general lack of good mobile security hygiene. For example, more than 13% of mobile devices used by financial services employees lack the latest major OS version, while 99% do not have the latest minor update issued by Google or Apple, the report found.

Some 4.6% of iOS users in this sector have yet to install the latest mobile operating system, compared to 47.8% for Android, according to the report.

Despite those results, the financial services industry as well as the healthcare sector tend to institute more frequent updates than all industries overall, Kohli says. He notes both industries suffer the most attacks because of their valuable information and data and, as a result, more is spent to secure those industries and the devices they use.

"They are early adopters of security; but even then, we are seeing problems," Kohli says. "I was very surprised at the results. I would have expected the number in the financial services industry to be lower."

Related Content:

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two days of practical cyber defense discussions. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the INsecurity agenda here.

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
The Problem with Artificial Intelligence in Security
Dr. Leila Powell, Lead Security Data Scientist, Panaseer,  5/26/2020
10 iOS Security Tips to Lock Down Your iPhone
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  5/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13693
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
An unauthenticated privilege-escalation issue exists in the bbPress plugin before 2.6.5 for WordPress when New User Registration is enabled.
CVE-2020-13173
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Initialization of the pcoip_credential_provider in Teradici PCoIP Standard Agent for Windows and PCoIP Graphics Agent for Windows versions 19.11.1 and earlier creates an insecure named pipe, which allows an attacker to intercept sensitive information or possibly elevate privileges via pre-installing...
CVE-2019-6342
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An access bypass vulnerability exists when the experimental Workspaces module in Drupal 8 core is enabled. This can be mitigated by disabling the Workspaces module. It does not affect any release other than Drupal 8.7.4.
CVE-2020-11082
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
In Kaminari before 1.2.1, there is a vulnerability that would allow an attacker to inject arbitrary code into pages with pagination links. This has been fixed in 1.2.1.
CVE-2020-5357
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Dell Dock Firmware Update Utilities for Dell Client Consumer and Commercial docking stations contain an Arbitrary File Overwrite vulnerability. The vulnerability is limited to the Dell Dock Firmware Update Utilities during the time window while being executed by an administrator. During this time wi...