SMARTPHONES AND HACKING

 

For some reason, smartphones and hacking don’t seem to be synonymous. When we think of cyber threats in the form of malware or ransomware, it’s usually those targeting desktops, laptops, computer networks and servers. Up until now, smartphones have been relatively free from hacking. Let’s explore and find out why.

WINDOWS IS STILL VULNERABLE

 

When the Windows operating system (OS) was first created way back in 1985, it was made for standalone PCs. It was not developed with the internet and a connected world in mind. As such, the OS contained security flaws from the outset, and even after 36 years of evolution and improvement, some holes still remain with the OS. On the other hand, operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Linux, were developed on a multi-user platform and designed for computer networking. With 86% of the world’s computers operating on Windows, cyber security and data protection is  major thorn in the side. Almost every business on the planet now protects its IT with multiple forms of anti-virus software, patches, firewalls, and secure web gateways to ensure that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. And no doubt you’ll protect your personal laptop or desktop using Microsoft Windows Defender at the very least.

 

SMARTPHONES ARE DIFFERENT

 

So why are smartphones, along with other mobile devices such as tablets, free from hacking? There are two simple answers. First off, portable devices were designed to be used in a connected world. Put simply, you could say that smartphones, IoT gadgets and other modern mobile IT technologies have additional layers of security acting as a deterrent from hacking. Secondly, mobile devices of today have been designed by developers who applied lessons learned from the desktops that preceded them. In layman’s terms, mobile devices started out with a very different built-in security model compared with the original Windows OS, which had very little security. But does that mean that smartphones are devoid of incidents of hacking? That all depends.

 

SMARTPHONES ARE VULNERABLE

 

Traditional computer viruses have been around longer, so this is why they’re more ingrained in our public awareness. And as such, almost every one of us has experienced a cybersecurity issue with the PC but probably never with a mobile device. Part of the reason is that smartphones haven’t been around for that long so hackers are still working on sophisticated ways to penetrate them. The fact that we have never had a hacking event with smartphones also lulls us into a false sense of security. But here’s the ugly truth. According to Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense (MTD), mobile attacks almost doubled compared to the previous year, reaching 116.5 million. In a statement, Gartner said:

“… a decrease in unique malware samples implies that attackers are delivering more efficient mobile malware.”

 

And the threat isn’t reserved for Android devices. iOS users are at risk too.

 

GET SMART WITH ZHERO

 

Zhero is up there with the best when it comes to business IT, cybersecurity, and protecting your data. Considering that phishing is the biggest threat targeting mobile devices and that no device is 100% secure, especially when you take into account the factor of human error, you need to take cybersecurity seriously, including the protection of your mobile technology. Remember, more often than not, employees’ phones are used for work and out of the office. This means that a single smartphone can put all your company data at risk, should it fall prey to hacking. So get smart with Zhero. Contact us today.