What Is Mobile Device Security? Importance & Best Practices

Mobile device security, or mobile security in short, refers to the strategies and policies your organization implements to protect all company-owned and personally held portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, against cyber threats. This is especially important today, given that there will be roughly 18.22 billion mobile devices by 2025 (Statistica).

As more and more people use portable devices for work, your organization must develop its own mobile security strategy that not only accounts for different operating systems (such as iOS or Android), but also includes methods to manage them, including robust mobile device management like NinjaOne.

NinjaOne helps you manage, support, and secure all your mobile devices with its intuitive and easy-to-use MDM solution.

Learn more about it.

What should be included in a mobile device security strategy?

Every organization is different, so there is no one way to design the best mobile strategy for you. That said, your framework must include policies to protect both personal and business-related information on your team members’ mobile devices. Some aspects to consider are:

  • Data protection: How will you prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information on all devices?
  • Access control: How robust are your authentication measures, such as biometrics or multi-factor authentication?
  • Network security: How secure are your network connections, such as Wi-Fi or cellular networks, in preventing spoofing attacks?
  • Physical security: What measures are in place to prevent the physical theft of your mobile devices and secure them if they are stolen?

Some tools & solutions to consider for your mobile device security

It’s worth noting that experts recommend following a multi-pronged approach to your mobile strategy, leveraging tools such as:

  • Mobile device management (MDM). This tool helps you monitor and secure your entire fleet of mobile devices. You can research the best MDM solutions to make a more informed decision. Remember that many vendors offer MDM capabilities in their comprehensive endpoint manager.
  • Antivirus software. This tool helps detect and remediate various vulnerabilities and threats before they impact your device.
  • VPNs. Virtual private networks are necessary for any mobile security framework, securing data transmission over unsecured networks.
  • Authentication strategies. Consider implementing your own or working with vendors that offer robust modern authentication methods.
  • Data encryption. These tools protect your data from unauthorized access and reduce your risk of phishing and ransomware.

Why is mobile security important?

Mobile devices are arguably the future of computers. According to the latest data by Pew Research, 97% of Americans now own a cellphone, and 41% are online almost constantly. The internet is clearly becoming more central in the lives of many Americans and people worldwide—and will continue to be so in the coming years.

Yet experts from the World Economic Forum caution against the rise of ransomware attacks on mobile devices. They predict that the increase in mobile-connected devices will exponentially expand the areas of vulnerability for threat actors to exploit.

Specifically, experts warn of the rise of data theft and encryption. In the 2024 State of Ransomware, 55% of all ransomware attacks have involved encrypted data, with some cybercriminals attempting double and triple-extortion attacks on a single target. More concerningly, these attacks are now being observed among mobile devices and are growing in prevalence.

7 top threats to mobile security

Poor mobile security can significantly increase your risk of various threats, including:

  1. Mobile ransomware. As its name suggests, this threat holds your device at ransom, requiring you to pay a certain amount in exchange for unlocking it.
  2. Phishing. Because of their smaller screens, phishing emails can conceivably be more effective on mobile devices. You may be tempted to open a malicious email because you can see fewer details than a computer or fall victim to email spoofing.
  3. Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. Mobile devices are more at risk of MitM attacks because they are used outside and in less safe areas. They are also generally paired with public Wi-Fis, which may increase their risk of network spoofing.
  4. Spyware. Spyware is a malicious app that collects data from your mobile device without your knowledge and sells it to a third party without your consent.
  5. Identity theft. Cybercriminals target mobile devices because they usually carry a lot of personal and financial data. Criminals can either hack into your phone or physically steal your device.
  6. Outdated operating systems or software. Out-of-date OSs and software can increase the number of vulnerabilities in your devices as cybercriminals continuously attempt to exploit them. This is why patch management is important for any mobile device security strategy.
  7. Cryptojacking. This new type of cybercrime uses your mobile device to mine for cryptocurrency, inevitably decreasing your device’s effectiveness and processing capabilities. Experts predict that the number of cryptojacking attempts worldwide will increase yearly (Statistica).

You can reduce the risk of mobile threats with the right MDM solution.

Unlock the benefits of NinjaOne’s MDM tool today.

How to secure your mobile devices: Some best practices

The main goal of a mobile device security plan is to keep mobile devices as secure and effective as non-mobile computers. Nevertheless, the challenge is creating and implementing policies that adequately address the unique features of mobile devices.

For example, the convenience offered by mobile devices has also made them more vulnerable to malware. Mobile devices are also more varied, from tablets to smartphones. As such, your mobile security strategy should be both diverse and comprehensive, guarding against potential threats and considering proactive IT support.

You may also want to take note of these best practices:

  • Regular software updates through automated patch management.
  • Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
  • Use encryption for sensitive and personal information.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi as much as possible.
  • Only download and install apps from trusted sources.
  • Keep yourself updated on the latest cyber threats.
  • Use trusted backup software and regularly backup data.
  • Work with a trusted MDM vendor.

How NinjaOne strengthens your mobile device security

The importance of MDM in any mobile security strategy cannot be overstated. Whether you’re an MSP working with different clients or an established IT enterprise looking to secure your own fleet, the right MDM tool can strengthen your mobile device security plan so that you can focus on your core competencies without worry.

NinjaOne’s MDM solution allows your IT team to manage and secure a wide range of devices efficiently, ensuring compliance and reducing downtime.

If you’re ready, request a free quote, sign up for a 14-day free trial, or watch a demo.

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