Getting your preferred mobile applications for free and be shown only some irritating ads in return is looking like a great deal. But this is not all you’re paying back. In actual, in this great deal, you are giving your personal information. These mobile apps gather an immense amount of your personal information such as your history on the internet, your location, your identity, your contacts, your schedule, and much more. This personal information is immediately shared with mobile advertising networks, which then use this data to describe the perfect ad for a particular user at any given place and time.
The trade-off is not really related to the ads for the mobile apps, in fact, it is an inspection for the apps. This overall system is characterized as a stalker economy by the AI Gore. Why is our location, behavioral, and personal information in high demand by marketers? It is common that mobile is something that people carry with them, wherever they go, and your mobile broadcast all kind of personal information constantly. Through this advertisers can track the position of their consumers, where they are, what they are doing, and a lot more, can help advertisers to send more effective ads. This all procedure is known as ‘proximity marketing’.
Yes, this is approved; this kind of customer surveillance is disturbing and creepy. But do you know how does it threaten the security of enterprise? It’s very simple. As more mobile phones entering into the world of business, the confidential data leaked from these mobiles are opening new doors to the hacks, crippling cyber attacks, and stolen business data.
For example, when an organization lets its employees sync their emails and calendars to their own mobile phone, this gives a start to the risks. When they switch their accounts to their phones, it gives an access to the contact information of other employees of that firm. It reveals much more confidential data such as the name and titles of the employees and the dial-in codes for private conference calls. This information can be used by hackers or malicious apps for a spear-phishing attack. Hiding data from an employees’ phone is not about threatening that particular employee but it is related to the whole company. When necessary information about employees’ activities, both on the job and anywhere else, related to the company’s documents and emails can be really devastating to that company if it gets into wrong hands.
What should enterprises do to combat the threat?
- Bring transparency into your organization’s mobile environment. Know which apps are used by your employees, what these apps are really doing, and are they meeting your security policies or not? For example, is there any app you don’t want your employees to use? Are they using it? If you have no idea, you are taking a big risk and flying blind.
- Make a policy for managing the use of mobile phones. Like the policies you made for other platforms, including sharing data with partners and managing firewalls, create same for mobile. For example, if your employees are using apps approved by the company but are ad-supported, make a policy which ensures employees to upgrade that app to the paid version. It can eliminate the risk of private and personal and private data collection.
- Train your employees about the risks of the apps they download. They should be capable enough to make right decisions which app is good or not.
All these areas can be protected only with the perfect mobile security solution. Therefore, it is crucial that you should include a mobile threat protection in your enterprise. It will help you to prevent the confidential data about your company and employees from the growing threat of data gathering and mobile surveillance.