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Mobile Devices - An Under-Recognised Major Increasing Business Risk

Did you know that there are 5.9 million mobile phone connections in New Zealand?

While most New Zealand businesses take laptop and traditional IT hardware cyber protection seriously, mobile devices tend to be overlooked. A significant number of business mobile phones and tablets in New Zealand are not equipped with sufficient cybersecurity measures, leaving businesses vulnerable to cyber-attacks and exploitation.

Mobile Phones: The Overlooked Risk in Business Security

The disparity in security measures between laptops/desktops and smartphones is stark. Many businesses, equipped with advanced security systems and tools for traditional computing devices, unwittingly leave a gaping vulnerability with mobile phones. This oversight leaves the door wide open to an array of threats, placing corporate data in jeopardy.

Motivating Businesses Toward Proactive Cybersecurity Measures

Some businesses might have delayed implementing protection for mobile devices, mistakenly thinking it to be either challenging or costly. However, the technology has advanced significantly, and there are now tools available to safeguard your mobile devices that are both simple to use and affordable.

Applying modern cybersecurity tools to your mobile devices provides robust security measures against a variety of cyber threats:

- Phishing, where hackers deceive individuals into revealing sensitive information through seemingly legitimate messages or emails,

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- Malware, with malicious software installed on the device to steal data or monitor activities without the user's knowledge,

- Spyware, a specific type of malware, clandestinely observes the user's actions and collects personal information,

- SIM swapping attacks involve hackers transferring a victim's phone number to a SIM card in their possession, enabling them to intercept messages and bypass security protocols,

- Lastly, network spoofing, where hackers create fake Wi-Fi networks to lure users into connecting, allows them to easily capture any data transmitted over the network

A Cautionary Tale of Complacency

A single successful cyber-attack on a mobile device that results in data loss for a business or organisation could result in a breach of the New Zealand Privacy Act 2020, under which fines start at $10,000 per instance and have been known to be as high as $150,000. This is without counting the brand damage caused and any other costs incurred to recover from the data breach.

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