News Feature | December 22, 2016

For SMBs, Protecting Mobile Workers From Cybercrime Is A Challenging Task

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Data Security

A new, enhanced solution helps mobile workers stay protected while working outside the office.

A Kaspersky Labs report found only half of the world’s mobile devices are currently protected from cybercrime, meaning these mobile devices are at high risk from cybercrime and malicious threats due to inadequate protection. For mobile workers in the field, this also could impact the SMBs they work for.

“Mobile devices are an important part of our lives. Not only do they hold important information, they are our gateway to online banking, emails, photo sharing, communicating with loved ones, and more,” said Victor Yablokov, Head of Mobile Product Line at Kaspersky Lab. “Not protecting these devices is not an option if we want to protect what matters to us most. But with only half of mobiles being protected effectively, there is a lot more work to be done before we are safe from cyber threats. By becoming more cyber-savvy, they can then be more prepared for the online world and the dangers it brings.”

According to Webroot, increasing worker mobility is now a fact of life for many SMBs, with employees using their mobile devices for both personal and work activities, making their businesses far more vulnerable to security threats. Webroot states 40 percent of all targeted attacks since 2010 have been aimed at SMBs compared to 28 percent targeting large enterprises, and cybercriminals are increasingly attacking mobile devices. A recent congressional report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the number of malware variants aimed at mobile devices spiked rom 14,000 in 2011 to 40,000 in 2012 — a 185 percent increase in less than a year.

In order the help SMBs counter the vulnerabilities posed by their mobile workers, Percipient Networks has released a new technology called Strongarm’s Always-On Protection, which enables SMBs to easily configure employee-owned BYOD and corporate devices to protect against phishing, ransomware, and other exploits.

The SANS Institute found more than half of all organizations place the burden of device security on their employees when they work outside of the office. This places an inordinate amount of responsibility on the more than 96.2 million mobile employees to protect sensitive information against increasingly sophisticated hacker tactics. Traditional security solutions don’t always protect these workers, so an additional layer of security is necessary to keep up with cybercriminals’ evolving attack techniques.

“Entrepreneurs and executives at SMBs can rarely take their foot off the gas which requires them to work from literally everywhere. These people need solutions that protect them regardless of where their business takes them and what device they are working on,” said Todd O’Boyle, chief technology officer and co-founder of Percipient Networks. “Strongarm is a simple, automated solution to help ensure sensitive information is never at risk, no matter where mobile workers access sensitive data.”

Mobile devices are a particularly attractive target for hackers because, as the GAO report noted, “Many mobile devices do not come pre-installed with security software to protect against malicious applications, spyware and malware-based attacks. Without it the risk may be increased that an attacker could successfully distribute malware such as viruses, Trojans, spyware and spam to lure users into revealing passwords or other confidential information.”