The list of upsetting facts about cybercrime is long and growing by the day. The hijacking of devices even before they leave the factory and hardware vulnerability are just two recent additions. Assuming that it will take a while before companies will substantially increase their security budgets, there are quite a few simple measures even employees can take.

– A flaw called ‘QuadRooter’ left more than 900 million Android devices vulnerable to attacks.
– Wearable devices and smartwatches can give away PINs and passwords through an algorithm that has 80% accuracy on the first try and 90% after three attempts.
– Some 20% of companies in a recent survey said their mobile devices have been breached. A quarter of respondents didn’t even know whether they’ve experienced an attack.

Just some recent worrying facts about cybercrime and the list goes on. The discovery that cybercriminals have managed to ‘hijack’ smartphones through viruses even before they leave the factory only adds to the chaos. The same goes for an interview with Dutch professor and ‘ethical hacker’ Herbert Bos we recently heard on the radio. Bos jokingly admitted his career as a hacker was ignited during high school when the first Commodore 64 computers were introduced. Unable to afford games, Bos and some friends found a way to hack their way through the software. At the same time they tried to impress the girls with it. Although the latter didn’t yield much success, Bos did manage to impress organizations with his hacking skills which even resulted in prestigious prizes recently.

Hardware vulnerability


These were the result of research which showed that hardware, chips in particular, can be vulnerable to intruders too. Basically, the zeros and ones are so compressed nowadays that at some point, for instance due to frequent usage, a zero may turn into a one or the other way around. Couple all weaknesses with the ubiquity of mobile devices in the workplace and the proliferation of BYOD policies and you’ve got the perfect recipe for mobile attacks on the enterprise. According to Bos and other renowned organizations we have no choice but to start spending some 10% of all costs on IT security. Meanwhile, employees in turn should take such simple measures as:

– Set a password and use two-factor authentication.
– Update their operating system.
– Fine-tune their app permissions.
– Download a mobile security app, preferably including anti-theft features that help them find the location of the phone, block unauthorized access to their personal data, or even wipe it.
– Avoid dead apps by checking the status of mobile apps regularly.
– Stick to official app stores.
– Take care when using public wifi. They should avoid logging into their bank or entering any credit card or personal details while using free networks and use their 3G or 4G connection instead.

They should be particularly alert when buying cheap or used phones. Not all refurbished devices come with the same comprehensive security solutions that Terabit offers its clients…

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