Sometimes we get the question of why does my mobile phone need protection? Its just a phone right? Why do I need mobile security? Sometimes people also believe the same about their internet connected devices such as TVs and video cameras. But what many people might not realize is that any device that is attached to the Internet can be hacked into and used to attack other devices or computers on a network.
A recent attack on web hosting company Akami was performed using 145,000 web connected devices such as routers, phones, and cameras. Hackers had broken into networks world wide to take over these devices. Once they had built up and enormous collection, they were able to use the devices to attack Akami. Akami is a very large web hosting company and has enormous bandwidth resources of its own. But even they weren’t able to defend against such a massive attack that these hackers were able to perform.
So that’s the technical explanation of what happened. Here is what that means. hacker s broke into home routers like the kind you use for your DSL or cable connection. They took over these devices and then used them to send large amounts of random data to the Akami’s network. These devices also included mobile phones, network cameras, and network attached storage such as backup drives (not the USB kind). So once the attackers had taken over enough devices, in this case, 145,000 such devices. they were able to send enormous amounts of random data to Akami. Akami wasn’t able to block all of this data and eventually, it was knocked off the Internet. To be specific, it was a particular website that was being hosted by Akami that was being attacked.
How does this relate to mobile security and your personal phone?
Mobile phones are becoming much more complicated devices and now are basically tiny computers in our pockets. Add to that the fact that most are always connected to the Internet either via a WiFi or data connection and you can begin to see why this is an important issue. A device that is always on the Internet, lacks the protection software that almost all computers have installed, and gives no warning of when it has been infected? It’s a target too tempting for hackers to pass up. Its far easier to take over an unprotected mobile phone or internet camera than it is to take over a computer.
Mobile Security the easy way
This isn’t device specific, so I won’t be discussing iPhones vs Androids. Most of these tips will be useful for both devices.
- Install an antivirus package software. Most mobile security products will include antivirus, a firewall, and even a location service for your device. Install it and let it handle keeping your mobile phone secure.
- Never install software from sources that you don’t know. Generally this isn’t an issue, especially on Apple. But its still possible for people to get around this and install bad software. Make sure you only install software from either the Apple store or Google Play.
- Make frequent backups. Just in case something happens, you can always reset your phone to factory standards and then reinstall your data. This is more of a “Worst case mobile security” but its always best to have a plan B.
As we get more and more dependent on our phones, mobile security will become increasingly important. If you follow these basic steps, then you will go a very long way to making sure your phone is protected.
You can read all the details here at Healthcare IT news.