MOBILE PHONE SECURITY, THE COMPLETE GUIDE: AM I SAFE?

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Last week, my colleague Josh Kingett discussed the risk behind an employee’s use of social media (click here to read). Today I am going to be breaking this down further by questioning the use of mobile phones as a whole as I question how secure they really are. Our mobile phones are part of our daily existence in the modern world. We rely on them for connecting us to family, friends and work via various mediums including, sending messages, sharing files, and live streaming content.

They aid our daily decision making and hold a goldmine of highly personalised information. Maintaining the privacy of this information is critical to our existence in a world that is rich in data appetite. With over 3.36 billion active smartphones today and over 5 million being stolen annually, we need to ask ourselves… 

How Secure Is My Mobile Device?

Without adequate security in place, our mobile device is a treasure trove of personal, work and financial information. We need to remember; this little pocket and handheld device is connected to the internet and can fall foul to a plethora of vulnerabilities. Not to mention the potential that a a criminal could steal it from you or you could leave it in a public place by accident.

When it comes to cyber security, priority is given to laptops and desktops, but what about the devices you carry around with you almost every second of every day? These devices carry so much personal information, you will often find people referring to it when checking even the most basic of details in their lives… 

“Hey Siri, when is my Mum’s birthday?”

With mobile device attacks said to have risen by 50%  in  just a year, it is evident that criminals are  focusing their attention on attacking smartphones, using the information they can quickly source for credential-theft and malicious advertising.  

How Can My Mobile Phone Become Compromised?

Without endpoint management, your mobile phone can be compromised in many ways through various forms of mobile malware (malicious software). However, the way your phone will become compromised depends on the model you have.

For Android users, downloading a malicious app is the most common way for the phone to become compromised. In comparison, app-based malware is rare for iPhone users, however, it still poses a risk. Android phones are normally more vulnerable to malicious apps as they enable app downloads from places other than the Google Play app store. iPhone however by default prevent the downloading of apps from other sources, although there have still been instances of malicious apps found on both Google Play and the App Store. To make sure you do not fall victim, do your own research and makes sure you answer the basic questions:

  • How popular is the app?
  • How many other apps has the developer produced?
  • Does it have legitimate public reviews?

How Do I Know if There Is a Malware On My Phone?

Keep an eye out for the following three tell-tail signs which indicate that your mobile device may have been compromised:  

  1. Your mobile data has had a large jump in data usage 
  2. Your apps are frequently crashing 
  3. Unfamiliar apps suddenly appearing on your phone 
  4. Irritating pop-ups starting randomly. 
  5. Your phone battery is draining more quickly than usual. 
  6. Your phone becomes sluggish suddenly. 
  7. Your phone overheats. 
  8. Odd charges on your monthly bill. 

If you are nodding your head at these points, we encourage you to take a verified malware scan to detect any current breaches and be aware of the following threats to prevent any further security issues. 

How Can I Avoid Threats to My Mobile Security?

The easiest way to avoid threats to your mobile phone is to maintain a state of vigilance when installing apps or clicking on links. There are four basic threat categories one needs to be mindful of:

1. Network Threats
Make sure you avoid public WiFi networks and use a VPN when accessing the internet. Unknowingly to many, public WIFI networks are hotspots for lurking cyber criminals, hoping to draw you in with their attractive offer of free WIFI before gaining access to your information.

2. Application-Based Threats
As mentioned, apps are one of the most common forms of malware attacks are so common due to their legitimate appearance. Users need to make sure they do not install apps that are not necessary and be wary of what apps they are giving their phone access to.

3. Web-Based Threats
Web-based threats are often a lot more difficult to identify. As you visit a site that has a legitimate front end, malicious apps can be installed via the backend onto your phone. Make sure you have an effective and up-to-date anti-malware app installed from a reputable supplier to detect this threat before any consequences are faced.

4. Physical Threats
A little more obviously, it is crucial to make sure that your mobile device does not get lost or left in a position where a criminal could potentially take advantage. To prevent any physical threats, always keep your phone safe and on your person and avoiding it lying around or in the public eye. 

Even with all these procedures in place, anyone can become victim to an unfortunate cyber attack on their mobile device. It is so important to be wary of the information you give your device. Do not view your device as an extension of yourself because you are not the one in control of where it ends up.  

This is why I encourage you to install endpoint management software across all devices, including your mobile phone. In 2020, this is more important than ever before as work from home becomes fundamental to sufficient operation.

The Benefits of Endpoint Management for Mobile

The easiest way to avoid threats to your mobile phone is to maintain a state of vigilance when installing apps or clicking on links. There are four basic threat categories one needs to be mindful of:

 

1. Network Threats
Make sure you avoid public WiFi networks and use a VPN when accessing the internet. Unknowingly to many, public WIFI networks are hotspots for lurking cyber criminals, hoping to draw you in with their attractive offer of free WIFI before gaining access to your information.

2. Application-Based Threats
As mentioned, apps are one of the most common forms of malware attacks are so common due to their legitimate appearance. Users need to make sure they do not install apps that are not necessary and be wary of what apps they are giving their phone access to.

3. Web-Based Threats
Web-based threats are often a lot more difficult to identify. As you visit a site that has a legitimate front end, malicious apps can be installed via the backend onto your phone. Make sure you have an effective and up-to-date anti-malware app installed from a reputable supplier to detect this threat before any consequences are faced.

4. Physical Threats
A little more obviously, it is crucial to make sure that your mobile device does not get lost or left in a position where a criminal could potentially take advantage. To prevent any physical threats, always keep your phone safe and on your person and avoiding it lying around or in the public eye. 

 

Even with all these procedures in place, anyone can become victim to an unfortunate cyber attack on their mobile device. It is so important to be wary of the information you give your device. Do not view your device as an extension of yourself because you are not the one in control of where it ends up.  

This is why I encourage you to install endpoint management software across all devices, including your mobile phone. In 2020, this is more important than ever before as work from home becomes fundamental to sufficient operation.

The Benefits of Endpoint Management for Mobile

 

 

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Kurt Schrauwen

kurt SCHRAUWEN

Director

Kurt Schrauwen is a Director of the Riela Group of companies which includes Riela Yachts, Riela Cyber and Riela Tech. 

Kurt brings more than 20 years of leadership experience having been an early part of the global success of Microgaming in becoming a market leader. Kurt was responsible for the commercial, contractual, and technical sales for Microgaming and with this experience will complement the company’s growth strategy.

Kurt is passionate about business optimisation and prides himself in having an intrapreneurial outlook to maximise staff potential, reduce inefficiencies as well as identifying and maturing revenue growth opportunities.

Paul Cocker

Service Delivery Coordinator

Paul Cocker joined the Riela Group in late 2021, after spending just under 20 years with his previous employer.

Paul is responsible for the Riela Tech service levels, working on both the dispatch function and SLA management. Paul carries out a variety of duties across the Network Operations Centre and works closely across the wider team to deliver professionally tailored solutions for our Riela Tech clients.

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Murat Guner

Infrastructure Engineer

Murat Guner joined the Riela Group in the Summer of 2021 as an Infrastructure Engineer.

Murat began his career in Turkey as a computer teacher for primary and secondary schools before migrating his skills into IT infrastructure. After honing his IT experiences throughout a colourful career path, Murat gained numerous qualifications which he is now excited to apply to the management of our Riela Tech infrastructure.

Andrew Clucas

Senior Network Engineer

Andy is a qualified Network Engineer with in-depth knowledge of architecting, implementing and supporting networking solutions in the SMB, Enterprise and Service Provider environments.

He has over 20 years of experience working across multiple vendor operating systems, including Cisco, Juniper, Linux and Microsoft, and has also been responsible for implementing a variety of large scale network services deployments, taking projects from design to rollout and support.

Andy also has experience of deploying and migrating a range of virtualisation technologies including VMWare, Hyper-V and KVM based systems.

Marc Dorey

Infrastructure & Managed Services Lead

Marc is our Group’s Infrastructure and Managed Services lead with over 18 years’ experience in delivering infrastructure projects across multiple industry verticals and international jurisdictions.  From projects in Aerospace and Engineering through to Banking and Insurance, from Europe, China, Africa and Australia.

This experience is matched with a varied list of certifications from leading industry vendors such as Hp, Cisco, Microsoft, Ruckus, CompTIA and more.  As a qualified technical trainer Marc is comfortably able to take complicated technical concepts and deliver them in simplistic terms to key decision makers and end users alike.

Most of Marc’s experience has been gained working for managed service providers, both large and niche and as such is able to take real world experience and blend it with industry standards to help align our service delivery with our clients values and processes.

Alexandria halsall

Marketing Executive

As a Marketing Executive, Alex is responsible for all marketing duties spanning the Riela Group.

Alex joined the Riela Group in August 2020, shortly after graduating with a Psychology degree from Nottingham Trent University.

With past work experience in content marketing, event management and web design, Alex is able to apply her creative and analytical skills into the Riela strategy.

Matthew Roberts

Group Head of Sales

As the Head of Group Sales at the Riela family of companies, Matthew leads the company’s sales strategy, execution, and growth.

Matthew has a successful record building trusted client relationship and delivering upon set expectations. An accomplished sales leader, he delivers a sales process that provides clients with the information and support they need to make the right decisions for their organisations and their constituents.

Matthew has significant experience within the maritime industry having previously worked across various sectors including insurance, security, satellite communications and managed IT. Matthew’s most recent experience encompasses almost 5 years spent with the leading satellite communications and managed IT provider in the maritime industry, focusing on their superyacht clientele.

Christian Goelz Riela Cyber

christian goelz

Director

Christian is involved across the Riela family of companies with particular attention to the technology businesses, Cyber and Tech.

Christian gained a postgraduate Master in Finance degree at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and completed his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Before joining us, Christian worked for six years at Argosy Capital, an Isle of Man-based private equity and venture capital business focusing on early-stage growth businesses. At Argosy, he focused on managing investment companies, research and financial analysis and served as a director on several boards.

ROBERT TOBIN

Riela Group Managing Director

Robert Tobin is the Managing Director of the Riela Group of Companies and is responsible in overseeing our business operations, our people and driving excellence in all we do.

Rob brings over 25 years’ of successful leadership and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries including Family Office, corporate services, construction engineering, Superyachts, cyber security and information technology development to our Group, and to our customers.

In the past 15 years Rob has gained a prominent reputation within the Superyacht industry for his passion, integrity, innovation and achievements to date.

“Being part of an awesome, capable and forward thinking team that have a shared passion for Superyachts, people and the environment is the highlight of my career and puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step everyday”.

Peter Astell Burt

Director

Peter is an experienced technology consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the IT and cyber security industry.  Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), IT Strategy, Start-ups, Regulations, and Online Gaming. Strong consulting professional with a DPhil focused in Natural Sciences from ChristChurch, Oxford.

Tim Bliss

Tim Bliss

Director

Tim Bliss, Managing Director of Riela Tech since the company foundation in 2015 and Director of Riela Cyber, brings over 20 years’ of successful leadership experience across a range of industries including finance and banking, software development, and manufacturing, as well as cyber security and information technology. Prior to forming the company he led the technology for Manx Financial Group PLC, where he was instrumental in business systems transformation.

“It is our hugely capable team of experts that drives our business – it is fantastic and rewarding to be able to use technology, intelligence, and great customer service to help make our clients’ business and staff progressively more efficient resilient and secure”