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Why You Are Receiving Fake Emails on Your Smart Devices

By: Barry Utesch

Fake Emails on Devices

Are you providing smart phones or tablets to your employees but not managing those devices?  You could be opening up a large security hole to your network. 

Cyber criminals are continually looking for new ways to get into your network.  Desktops and laptops are still the favorite target but with the increasing number of smart devices cyber criminals have every reason to develop new ways to break into your network through these devices.  

Securing these smart phones, tablets and desktops are not as complicated or as expensive as you might think.  The most effective thing that you can do to secure your smart devices is to require a passcode.  A minimum of four digits but preferably six.  This code can thwart most physical attacks by not allowing the person who's holding it to gain access.  If your smartphone is like mine, once logged in you have access to all of my email, links to files stored at Office 365 or Google Docs and access to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) leading back to my corporate network.  If you keep and use Apple Pay or Android Pay on your device, cyber criminals have access to those as well. 

FREE onsite presentation for your employees on "Developing a Cyber Savvy Workforce."

One of the major challenges of smart devices is their physical access with your computer or even your laptop. To gain physical access of these devices is a little bit trickier, but we tend to leave our tablets and smart phones lying around where they can be easily scooped and are easy to hide as the thief makes their getaway. 

Symantec did a study which they published in their 2015 Internet Security Threat Report and they indicated that 17% of android applications are actually malware in disguise. Managing your devices through O365 or some other tool is clearly a wise choice.  Through these utilities you can force a device to have an initial passcode and you can restrict the ability to install applications.  You can manage these devices in so that they will not consume significant amounts of time for your IT or helpdesk department.  

Email Phishing accounts for a very high percentage of computer infections. To date this problem has mostly been on PC’s but that is the next “Blue Ocean” strategy for the cyber criminals.  

IT departments understand the importance of patches and updates on computers in the same way you shouldn't delay when installing patches and updates on your smart device.   I'm not advocating being a beta tester for these updates but after two to three weeks it would make sense to get these installed.  Keeping your devices up to date in order to protect them is just good business.  

Want more information on smart device security? Total Computer Solutions offers customized security training as well as security consulting for businesses throughout the Piedmont Triad region. Contact us for more information about how our security training for employees can strengthen your network security. 

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