This article will talk about ransomware on mobile device increase. Most IT professionals will already be conscious of the threat of ransomware on networked computers, but now a new threat is emerging – ransomware on mobile devices. The increase of ransomware on mobile devices is particularly disturbing for organizations that allow employees to use their personal mobile devices in the workplace (BYOD), as security experts have found examples of ransomware being transferred from a mobile device to a networked system via corporate Wi-Fi.
The way in which the transfer of ransomware occurs between mobile devices and network systems is similar to the route that led to the massive Target cyberattack of 2013. On that occasion, Cybercriminals were able to enter Target’s network through a vulnerability in a service provider´s security measures. The result was that millions of Target customers´ credit card details were stolen – costing the company (so far) almost $200 million. The consequences of ransomware can be far more devastating.
Warnings that Ransomware Now Extends to Mobile Devices
Speculation over how the latest attack on the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center could have happened has been rife. Speaking to CNBC, Tim Erlin – Director of IT security and risk strategy at enterprise cybersecurity firm Tripwire – said “A company is more likely to be compromised when it has either software vulnerabilities, misconfigured software or when people in the organization are used as a vector for malicious links or emails”.
On the same news report, Kevin Haley – director at Symantec Security Response – was more direct about the threat of ransomware on mobile devices. He told Bob Woods that cybercriminals are expanding their attacks beyond computers to “target Smartphones, tablets and potentially anything connected to the Internet”. For organizations – particularly those in the healthcare industry – the potential to be subjected to extortion has never been greater.
Recommendations for Preventing Ransomware on Mobile Devices
In addition to advice by security experts to update Java, Flash, Shockwave and other plugins with the latest security patches, recommendations for preventing ransomware on mobile devices and all other operating systems has been released by the FBI. The FBI recommends enabling pop-up blockers, using antivirus and firewall software from “reputable companies”, and always backing up data. Advice for employees includes never to click on any emails or attachments they do not recognize and to avoid suspicious websites altogether.
For healthcare authorities concerned about losing access to their EMRs and email systems through ransomware on mobile devices, TigerText recommends implementing a secure messaging solution. Secure messaging solutions have safeguards in place to secure data on mobile devices, and also to prevent hackers from finding a way into the main IT server infrastructure. Even if an individual user inadvertently downloads ransomware onto their personal mobile device, healthcare organizations will not face the prospect of being held to ransom by a cybercriminal.
Feel free to contact E-SPIN for ransomware preventive and solution, mobile device security performance and security monitoring and testing application.
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