Monsters in your mobile?

Your mobile phone is your closest companion. It knows where you go, what you do, who you talk to, who you block out and what you like – or don’t.

It’s therefore a magnet for malware, a heaven for hackers.

Here’s what’s most alarming: According to a survey by Check Point Software, up to 60% of IT professionals do not deploy any mobile threat defenses. “A majority of organizations have not deployed mobile security solutions capable of detecting leading threats, including mobile malware, fake or malicious apps, man-in-the-middle attacks and system vulnerabilities,” the report states.

There’s more: A study just out from CrowdStrike reveals that criminals are now actively producing variants that target iOS phones. “Apple iPhone users who think they are immune from such security threats could be in for a shock, and a recent US Supreme Court ruling could, ironically, make matters worse,” reports Forbes.

Apple’s “walled garden” approach to control apps may have helped Apple fight the malware malaise; the amount of malware on the iOS platform is far lower than on Android. That’s about to change. A US Supreme Court ruling on May 19, 2019 could force Apple to let users download apps from third-party developers. This could, in turn, open the floodgates for malware to start targeting iPhones.

So what’s the solution? On July 25, 2019, CIO Academy Asia hosted discussions on cybersecurity and AI, with Israel’s Ambassador to Singapore Simona Halperin as the guest of honor. The panelists – from Claroty, Tufin Technologies, Deep Instinct, GoJek GoPayKryon Systems and SparkBeyond – shared some best practices to keep your security – and sanity – under control. Some best practices to consider:

Check Point SandBlast Mobile: Prevents OS-level, rogue apps, attacks targeted at apps, and network-based ones such as MiTM (man in the middle) attacks.

Deep Instinct Mobile Security: Protection based on multiple layers: prediction & prevention, and detection & response, against known and unknown cyberthreats.

Claroty Yara tool: Identifies & classifies malware samples. CISOs can leverage the tool to create descriptions of malware families based on textual or binary patterns.

Tufin Iris: Since cloud is so ubiquitous, check out this agent-less, cloud-native cybersecurity solution to get visibility and control security policies.

How important is your mobile? A to Z: It has all your Apps, whether Apple or Android; it’s your Best Buddy; your Calendar is in it; it has your Data; your Engagements are listed; your Friends are all there; you Greet them and meet them using Grab; your Home location is on it; the Internet is always on; you Join groups and share Jokes; it Keeps all your secrets and Kills them when so wish; you Love your phone and can’t Live without it; you pay good Money for the phone and the service; it remembers all the Numbers you don’t; you Open apps all the time; it’s the most Personal Possession you have; you can Query anything, anytime, anywhere; your phone Rests only when you do; most of your Searches are done there; it’s your Timer and Travel companion; you have apps like Uber installed on it; you watch Video and play Virtual games on it; WiFi and WhatsApp are your favorite apps; sometimes you get X-rated stuff on it; without your phone, You are lost; and finally, your phone camera can Zoom and Zap photos just the way you want it.

To rephrase Mario Puzo’s quote from The Godfather. Keep your friends close; keep your phone closer.