Mobile-device cyberattacks on the rise

Security awareness training for mobile devices should become mandatory if we are to stem the growing cyber threat to mobile platforms.

Few people would dispute the dramatic shift to mobile platforms that has taken place in the last few years. Driven by enhanced features of smart phones and tablets, business users, consumers, government officials and even the military are becoming more and more reliant on mobile devices. Today, some 27 percent of mobile phones fall into the smart-phone category. This migratory trend is expected to continue through 2015. One study suggests that users in the United States spend nearly three hours interacting via their mobile device.

As the value and use of the mobile platform continue to increase, so do the malicious activities that target this platform. A recently released report by one security research firm found a 273 percent increase in the first half of 2011 in a time-period-over-time-period comparison. Particularly alarming is just how easy it is for a mobile-device user, unaware his device has been compromised, to cross contaminate an organization’s network via mobile malware. Attacks on or using mobile devices are highly successful.

This is primarily because most mobile users are totally unaware of mobile security threats and attacks that target this platform. Users don’t think about mobile software applications such as firewalls and anti-virus for their mobile devices. The cost of these applications ranges in price from $15 to $30. Users have a false sense of security and click on links without considering the potential threat that might await them.

Security-awareness training for mobile devices must become mandatory if we are to stem this growing threat, as should the installation of a firewall in all mobile devices before sale.