Mobile Security Trends in 2022

The pandemic had a dramatic impact on business as usual for many organizations, causing many to shift to a remote work model with a significant percentage of their employees working from home.

The shift to remote and hybrid work models has caused widespread usage of mobile devices for business and has brought these devices to the attention of cybercriminals. As mobile devices have become a core part of how companies do business, 97% of companies have faced cyberattacks involving mobile threats.

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What Are The Top Mobile Security Trends For 2022?

As mobile devices have gained more access to corporate networks and sensitive data, the mobile attack surface has grown dramatically. Check Point explores the key mobile security trends in its Mobile Security Report.

Mobile Devices Face Network Attacks

Most organizations have experienced a mobile malware attack last year, and 93% of them began in a device network. The most common types of malicious network traffic from mobile devices include:

  • Phishing messages designed to steal credentials (52%)
  • Command and control traffic from malware on a device (25%)
  • Browsing to infected websites or URLs (23%)

Malicious Mobile Apps are a Growing Threat

Malware has always been a major cyber threat, but with the growth of remote work and bring your own device (BYOD) policies, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile devices. Last year, nearly half of companies (46%) experienced a security incident in which an employee downloaded a malicious mobile application. Some of the most common forms of mobile malware include:

  • Banking trojans
  • Mobile remote access trojans (MRATs)
  • Malware droppers
  • Premium dialers
  • Clickers

Legitimate Apps are Vulnerable to Attack

In addition to malicious mobile applications, organizations also face cybersecurity threats from legitimate mobile apps. In 2020, several of the major social media applications (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) experienced major vulnerabilities.

Also, the Google Play Core Library, which links applications to the Google Play Store, had a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability. About 8% of Google Play Applications were exploited using this vulnerability.

Hardware Vulnerabilities Undermine Security

The mobile applications running on a mobile device operate under the assumption that the underlying hardware is secure and operational. However, Check Point Research has found that at least 40% of mobile devices contain hardware vulnerabilities.

These low-level vulnerabilities can have a variety of impacts on a mobile device and its users, including:

  • Breaches of sensitive data (photos, videos, calls, location, etc.)
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
  • Malware installation and persistence

Cybercriminals Exploit Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions are designed to allow an organization to centrally control all of the mobile devices within its network. While this can be an asset, it can also be a liability for an organization.

In 2020, cybercriminals have begun regularly targeting MDM solutions in their attacks. By exploiting an MDM controller, they gain control over all of the systems managed by that device.

How To Protect Against Mobile Threats

In the past, mobile devices have not been a priority in corporate security strategies. With most employees working from the office and limited mobile device usage, mobile device security has been overshadowed by network and other endpoint security concerns.

As remote and hybrid work becomes more common, companies need mobile security solutions that can address the mobile security threats of now and in the future. A mobile security solution should include certain key features, including:

  • Phishing Protection: Mobile devices can be targeted by phishing attacks via multiple different media (email, SMS, social media, etc.). A mobile security solution should monitor and protect against all of these attack vectors.
  • Malicious App Prevention: Malicious mobile apps are a growing threat to enterprise cybersecurity. Mobile security tools should identify and block downloads of these malicious apps.
  • Man-in-the-Middle Attack Prevention: Mobile devices are vulnerable to MitM attacks where attackers intercept and eavesdrop on network traffic. Mobile security solutions should help to detect and block these attacks.
  • Network Access Management: Compromised devices can pose a threat to the enterprise if they access corporate resources. Mobile security solutions should block infected devices from accessing corporate networks and applications.

OS-Level Protection: Mobile devices are vulnerable to jailbreaking, rooting, and OS exploits that should be detected and prevented.

Securing Mobile Devices With Check Point

An effective mobile security solution provides protection against a range of mobile-specific and general cyber threats. Check Point Harmony Mobile is a Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) solution that meets the mobile security needs of the enterprise and provides full integration with other Harmony solutions for simpler management and improved protection.

To learn more about the current state of the mobile threat landscape, check out Check Point’s Mobile Security Report 2022. Then, learn more about protecting against these threats and what to look for in a mobile security solution with this buyer’s guide. You’re also welcome to see how Harmony Mobile meets your company’s security needs with a free trial.

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