While consumers are being encouraged to adopt stricter smartphone security measures to protect personal data, the issue of loss or theft is an even bigger concern for corporations whose workers may be dealing with sensitive information. Senior mobile antivirus analyst Axelle Apvrille at Fortinet FortiGuard Labs has highlighted the potential for viruses to spread throughout a company without proper safeguards in place.
Axelle argues that malware such as a Trojan horse is capable of multiplying throughout a workforce when phones are synchronised with computers. A desktop or notebook could become infected with a virus spread from a mobile phone, which could then go on to infect all other devices that are synchronised at a later time. This could then report data sent or stored on a handheld back to a malicious third-party – the technique effectively bypasses physical security such as passwords and could even access protected data that is decrypted on the fly.
Business are being encouraged to increase awareness of threats to ensure that this situation doesn’t become more commonplace, and as well as utilising on-board security, the use of virtual private networks and limiting the amount of company data that is available to share with a connected device are important considerations when attempting to counter the problem.