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September 13, 2016

Fire Should Be the Least of Your Mobile Worries

Last week, Samsung issued an unofficial emergency recall for the new Galaxy Note 7. The recall came after at least 35 separate reports of exploding batteries.

Now, Samsung is working with the U.S. government to release an official recall for Galaxy Note 7 devices in America. And on September 20, Samsung will rush a new software update to market that will limit phone batteries to 60 percent to protect users that do not want to return their phones.

Here's what you should do: 

If your business purchased the Note 7 for its employees, round them up and return them as soon as possible. Samsung is promising to voluntarily replace all vulnerable devices that are currently on the market.

If you have a BYOD environment, understand that the Note 7 is a fire and safety hazard. You may want to consider temporarily restricting Note 7 access in your office until the problem is solved.

And if your business doesn't have any Note 7s, you should take action anyway. 

Here’s why:

Every smartphone – regardless of its make and model – is a threat to your organization. You may not have to worry as much about overheating batteries if your employees are using other types of smartphones, like iPhones or Nexus models. But you do need to worry about mobile security.

It’s interesting to note how widespread physical hazards, like the threat of fire, tend to cause massive uproars. Digital security hazards, however, do not seem to generate as much turmoil despite the danger that they impose. 

Consider mobile ransomware, for instance, which is a radpidly-growing mobile threat. In Q2 2016, mobile ransomware detection increased by 200 percent. A cybercriminal can use mobile ransomware to lock an end user’s smartphone or encrypt certain files until a large ransom is paid. A mobile ransomware attack can lead to a costly, devastating and even embarrassing incident.

Many hackers are also using smartphones as backdoors into corporate networks. Once infected with malware, a smartphone can act as a direct gateway to other connected devices or file storage systems. 

Mobile security threats, in other words, are real. And they need to be taken seriously. 

So what can you do to protect your business from mobile threats? You can’t ban mobile devices altogether. They play an integral role in your company's daily operations. In fact, if you tried to ban mobile devices, you would probably face widespread criticism. The fact is that we’re in a mobile world. We can’t go back to twentieth century communications.

The best thing you can do is implement a robust mobile device management (MDM) strategy.

This involves centralizing control over all of your business’s mobile endpoints. The goal is to understand which mobile devices are accessing your network, as well the files they are storing and the applications they are using. It also involves scanning all mobile devices for malware, provisioning regular security updates and restricting certain types of malicious applications from use at work.

For more information about MDM, click here.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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