Business Smartphone Security Basics

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Smartphones and other mobile devices are the new frontier for hackers; is your Hispanic business at risk?
 
 
 

 

Whether we’re walking down a busy city street, waiting at the airport or sitting on the subway, the ubiquitous smartphone is glued to our hands. From email to virtual supply chain management, Hispanic business has gone mobile. With smartphone market penetration at an all-time high and the bring-your-own-device movement sweeping the business world, businesses also face new security risks.

Since the iPhone’s launch in 2007, businesses have increasingly adopted a ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) approach. New employees that already own a smartphone simply add work email and apps to the phone, and it’s ready to go. Unfortunately, the BYOD approach to business smartphone use is also exposing businesses to new security risks.

Analysts predict that mobile market penetration will more than double over the next few years. Currently more than 6 billion mobile devices can be found worldwide. From smartphones and tablets to netbooks and laptops, by 2015 Cisco Systems estimates that there will be 15 billion wireless network-connected devices. It’s no surprise then that hackers are now focusing their efforts on obtaining email access, confidential financials and other sensitive information that may be stored on smartphones Even if just a small percentage of these phones were hacked, that figure represents potentially trillions of dollars in lost business, productivity and revenue.

Smartphones running Google’s Android operating system are frequently a target because the Android system allows for unscreened third-party apps. By mid-2011, Symantec identified 19 different types of malware for hacking Android phones, up from just 5 in the previous year.

While security breaches are a problem for any business, small businesses have the most to lose in the event of a security breach. Small businesses may simply be unable to financially recover in the event of data loss or theft. The most popular security solution, a four-digit password that locks a mobile phone or tablet, does not provide adequate protection. Unfortunately, many mobile users believe that as long as their phone is password protected, they are safe from hacking. That's simply not the case.

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