Monsters, Malware, and Mobiles

How the Increase of Mobile Device Malware Impacts Small Businesses


The percentage of businesses which incorporate personal devices for work related tasks and data access is increasing.  There is a new protocol flooding the market today, called Bring Your Own Device. Through it, employees are permitted to bring personal mobile devices such as androids, laptops and tablets for the purpose of the work environment. The relevance of this development has particular influence on small businesses. While advantages such as decreased mobile expenses and personalized access continue to increase the amount of small businesses participation in BYOD, there are several correlating risks.

Originally, mobile devices were not considered a serviceable target. However, as the use of mobile devices in corporate banking, medical histories, and credit information expands, the rate of malware attacks has proportionately increased. Numerous large establishments implement the use of company owned devices for business related ventures. This allows them to utilize network and device security which can be monitored and quantified. However, this may prove unrealistic for small business owners. So, how can small business owners respond to the rate of malware increase which has nearly doubled in the past year, particularly in the use of personal devices?

One of the number one methods cyber-criminals use to extort mobile devices is through infected applications. The number of false applications on the market today is estimated at nearly one-million. Often times, they are not detected until countless users have unknowingly downloaded them, allowing cyber criminals back door access to vulnerable information.

Malvertising is another commonly used method of cyber-attacks. Ads which appear normal pop up on user’s screens. A single click has the potential to download malicious malware onto the device, and by extension, your business infrastructure. Direct device access has also increased and is often used by organized hackers. Unattended devices can be plugged into a laptop or other device and have malware installed without any indication to the owner until data has been exploited. Finally, cyber scamming through malicious web pages and links sent directly to users email and device is escalating. These attacks have the potential to be targeted or impartial. Once clicked on, errant files and hardware are downloaded onto the device.

The most reliable protection for small businesses against such attacks as spyware, adware, ransomware, banker malware, etc., is a combination of device and network security. While awareness is the first step, action is necessary in order to protect employees, clients, and small businesses from the realities of mobile malware. Firewall protection, data encryption, frequent password changes, device security, and comprehensive employee training are among the many strategies which can help protect you and your business from these prevalent dangers. The amount of cyber attacks on mobile devices is projected to increase. Now is an ideal time to prepare and protect your small business.