Mobile and Security Threats that your Firm Should be Ready For
Businesses are rapidly embracing the shift to mobile finance and accounting (F&A). More F&A functions can now be done at the comfort of your fingertips. However, with increasing cybersecurity threats, mobile finance users are being more cautious in using these finance and accounting security mobile applications. Here are the top mobile device threats that the finance and accounting industry should be aware of:
1. Data Leakage
Whether intentional or not, data leakages are among the biggest threat to any organization handling data, let alone accounting firms who handle sensitive financial information of their clients. In order to prevent such instances, you must inspect the applications and permissions settings in the mobile devices used by your accounting firm. Requiring one-time passwords (OTP) and authentication codes generated by other applications (e.g., Google Authenticator) can also prevent unauthorized access by both users and unknown devices.
2. Unsecured Connections and Network Spoofing
Most mobile users are not aware of the importance of using secured network connections. Having secured connections in your office are among your firm’s first-line of defense against hackers and data breaches. However, mobile devices are intended to be used to perform tasks on-the-go, wherever your employees are. However, hackers are also active all over the place, setting up fake access points that enable them to gain access to the victim's device. This hacking method is called network spoofing and is mostly deployed in high-traffic environments and is considered as among the high-risk mobile security threats.
Equipping your people with knowledge on how to identify secured network connections can decrease the incidents of connecting to the internet using vulnerable connections. Meanwhile, you can also install Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications to increase the protection of your data transfer. Whenever it is possible, you should also provide them with mobile cellular data access through a credible network provider them and encourage your employees to use this over WiFi networks.
3. Ransomware Attacks
Nothing placed the importance of internet security more than the series of ransomware attacks among mobile and desktop devices in 2017. The infamous WannaCry ransomware affected banks, multinational corporations, universities, and even government devices, infecting more than 200,000 units which resulted to US$4 billion in damages alone.
Ransomware attacks can be prevented by installing applications only from reliable sources and being vigilant in clicking links sent through email. Finally, you can do a series of information campaign on web security and how they can avoid falling for these attacks.
4. Complex Phishing Attacks
While phishing attacks are as old as email itself, cyber criminals have come up with new ways to get victims to share sensitive information or click links that may help them gain access to the device being used. Cyber criminals now structure their keywords and email subjects in such a manner that the victim might think that the email came from the firm or one of its clients. They also use words or addresses that may seem legitimate, especially when the victim has little to no time to properly inspect the email.
While spam filters can help, they can only do so much with the increasing complexity of phishing attacks. One of the best steps that you can take is to make sure that your employees get a routine training on data management and security. You can also have them up to date with the latest smartphone security threats to prevent them from falling victim to the latest cyber crime tactics.
When dealing with mobile security threats, remember that prevention is always far better than the cure. Security applications and systems can surely help in protecting your systems and your devices, but these can only do so much. In the end, nothing beats a finance and accounting firm where people are equipped with sufficient knowledge to identify mobile threats and how they should deal with these new security threats in the mobile world.