After Cyber Monday, It’s BYOD Uninstall Tuesday
95% off the price of an iPhone! Or even a free iPhone! How many of the employees in your enterprise would have been tempted by offers like these on Cyber Monday? They may seem like rational, diligent people when they’re at work, but even hardnosed business people can have their heads turned by this kind of fake offer. They won’t think twice about downloading the equally fake shopping Apps that promise them the fast track to these bargains – which is where the trouble starts for many enterprises, where employees use the same mobile devices for both personal and business use.
Cyber Monday, predicted to rack up about $3.4 billion in sales in the US this year, is particularly risky in this respect. But Black Friday and even Thanksgiving Day itself are also growing significantly in popularity with online shoppers. Ecommerce vendors are also triggering holiday season bargains earlier each year, meaning that malicious shopping apps could be snuggling up to enterprise data from as early as September.
The risks of these nefarious mobile applications are many and varied. They can contain malware to exfiltrate data (possibly company system account credentials). They can act as ransomware to encrypt data to make it inaccessible or lock a device until a ransom has been paid. Even malware asking for personal information such as social media account credentials can have a serious impact on companies, if the user made the mistake of using the same password for accessing both the company payroll system and Facebook.
No time should be wasted in tracking down any bad actors that have wormed their way in mobile devices being used for work. And while “Uninstall Tuesday” will remain a special priority at least for another year or two, it’s clear that enterprises with BYOD policies need to be vigilant during the preceding weeks too. The fact that national retailer Target keeps its Cyber Monday web page up all year round could be a sign of online shopping things to come. One of the big advantages of the rapid binary analysis done by AppInterrogator from Mi3 Security is that you can check such apps whenever you see them appearing on users’ devices, and within minutes.
If your enterprise has a policy of making time at work available to employees to do Cyber Monday shopping, then you can also help shopper-workers stay in the clear by rapid analysis of apps before they get downloaded. Mi3 Security can quickly declare an app In or Out™, and give IT administrators the actionable intelligence they require to protect their organizations from attacks and breaches.
Of course, user education and awareness are also crucial. Besides malware apps, phishing is also a big threat, social engineering is still popular with hackers, and other scams such as whaling and QR codes linked to bogus sites also exist. However, bad apps are on the rise and often difficult or impossible for users to differentiate from genuine apps. Rapid In or Out binary analysis lets you run your own, effective “Uninstall Tuesday” and even “Uninstall Every Day” if needed, pinpointing rogue shopping apps and others effectively and rapidly.
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