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  • Writer's pictureESET Expert

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Mobile Security Provider

There are many mobile security apps out there, each offering a different set of features. To choose the right one, you first need to decide what your company´s priorities are. Find out how key features can help mitigate threats to company mobiles.

In recent research by Statista, nearly half of respondents in the US (46%) stated that they spend between 5 and 6 hours on their smartphones every day. Increasingly, our mobile devices are the technology of choice to browse the internet, access online banking, play games, pay at shops, and store photos, files, or sensitive personal information such as passwords. The portability of mobile devices also offers a higher chance of them being stolen or misplaced than PCs. All this makes smartphones an increasingly popular target for cybercrime. According to the recent ESET Threat Report (T1 2021), for instance, there was a 158.7% increase in Android banking malware compared to the end of 2020. However, mobile banking is not the only source of malware. Cyberthreats for mobile devices that can ultimately put your company at risk are manifold: from employees connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, to other malware, phishing attacks, social engineering, or cracked passwords. Do you need help when an employee’s device gets stolen, keeping the fleet of your corporate smartphones secure or carrying out regular scans on them? Or would you appreciate more functionality for your teams, such as secure vault for apps, Virtual Private Network (VPN), or performance optimization? Here are some of the most essential functions you should consider when choosing a mobile security provider.

Theft protection

Mobile security apps can help you locate a lost or stolen device or inform the owner of the phone’s last known location before its battery ran out. They can lock the phone, allow the user to set a lock screen message or sound a loud siren. Another useful feature is the option for the data stored on the phone to be wiped remotely.

Antivirus and antimalware

It’s necessary to ensure that smartphones connected to your company’s network aren’t infected with viruses, malware, or on the receiving end of phishing attempts. A solid security solution should scan all downloaded files, SD cards, and apps for viruses and malware and, ideally, have a high detection rate. Some apps can also detect fraudulent messages and delete them. There should also be an option to initiate automatic scans when charging or only on specific days and at specific times, to preserve battery life.

Block threats

Internet browsers are a frequent source of cyberthreats. That’s why another common feature is identifying potentially harmful websites and links whenever someone on your team is browsing the web. Install the most current version of your web browser and use filters that can identify and warn you of potential security threats. Some solutions even offer payment protection features that open apps used for payments with another layer of security to protect your financial data.

Hack Alerts

These are warnings that you get whenever a new data leak compromises personal or company accounts/passwords. These prompt users to review security and when necessary, change their login details – something that should ideally also be easy to do. If the mobile security app natively offers a password manager feature, that’s even better.

Wi-fi scanning

One of the easiest ways for hackers to gain access to a smartphone is to intercept its connection to a public Wi-Fi or even set up their own rogue Wi-Fi hotspot. Many mobile security apps allow users to test their connection to see if it’s secure and encrypted and gives them information about download/upload speed.

Vaults and privacy

To increase the privacy protection of a device, some mobile security providers let you protect apps with a lock or create a password-protected vault for important or sensitive files. Both can prove useful in case of unauthorized access to a device to help contain the damage. Some security apps also let their users protect their connection with a VPN.

App monitoring and device management

Many handset providers that have addressed this have done so with built-in app monitoring and device management functionality. However, some security apps also offer a more holistic service for mobile devices, and they also come with an overview of installed apps and their required permissions, and they can monitor screen time or the use of data. To improve performance, the apps let the user delete junk files to free up storage space, and they identify tasks and processes that are slowing the phone down.

Again, every mobile device used within a company is a potential gateway for cybersecurity threats. With the right set of features, you’ll increase the level of security of individual (mobile) endpoints, which ultimately means higher security for your business network. But apart from choosing the right solution for your company, you also need to educate your team and make sure they follow best cybersecurity practices and have a healthy approach toward their cyber hygiene.

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