The Nuances of Mobile Security

Mobile phone, especially a smartphone, is no longer simply a communication tool. Nowadays, more and more mobiles users and especially the business professionals use smartphones to plan and organize personal and official life as well.

However, on the flip side, this sudden increased dependency on technology is inflicting profound changes within data systems and is becoming a source of risk. Undoubtedly,  smartphones collect an increasing amount of sensitive data the access to which should be controlled to guard the privacy of the user and the organizations which inevitably become a part of the vicious circle.

Types of attacks:

1) Attack made through messages:

An attack can be made possible by sending an irregular block of text, thereby causing the phone to restart, leading to DOS attacks. For example, If you have a Siemens S55 OS and you have received a text message containing a Chinese character, it could lead to a denial of service as its not defined in the OS functioning.

2) Attacks made through Wi-Fi:

An attacker can try to eavesdrop on your Wi-Fi Connection to get information like your password. These types of attacks are not so common to smartphones, but they are very open to these attacks because quite often Wireless communication (Wi-Fi) is the only means of communication. With brute force attacks and attacker can easily access the requisite information. So, it is suggested to use WPA / WPA2 protocol instead of WEP.

3) Attacks made through Bluetooth connection:

These are one of the most common attacks wherein, the attacker can easily transmit a file and get the access to your device. Consequently, there is a dire need to protect your smartphone against such threats.
You will be shocked to know that in the last two quarters closing 2012, the number of unique mobile threats grew by 161%, according to a research. Such threats increase the probability of data loss, data thefts etc. So, the big question that arises is how can this be controlled ?

Generic & effective ways:

An antivirus software can be installed on a device to verify if it is corrupted by a known threat, usually by SDS (Signature Detection Software) that detects the corrupt files.

Most of the smartphones these days are using Biometric Locks, which uses a technology to identify a person by means of her morphology (eye or face detection). In this case, only the primary user would be able to unlock the phone and so your data would remain secure.

Do’s and Dont’s:

> Do not be overly vulnerable
Do not believe in everything that is presented while downloading an app. A lot of information that is asked can be phishing or attempting to distribute a malicious code. Do check the reputation of that app before using.

> Be careful
Protect it by using simple gestures like – Lock your phone when not in use, do not leave your handset unattended. Also, do not store a lot of sensitive data on such devices.

> Look for the permissions granted to apps
Do ensure the privileges required by an application during installation and do not accept if the rights are inconsistent.

Albeit, it is not impossible to insulate your device against such threats completely, however, an intelligent and careful user can protect himself from sudden data loss or data theft.