Verizon has released its annual edition of the Mobile Security Index (MSI).

For the second year in a row, the report features a wide range of data from Wandera’s global network of 425 million sensors, representing corporate-owned and BYOD assets. With the world’s largest, most comprehensive mobile data set, we then analyzed the data intelligence on mobile usage, risk exposure, and threat vectors to get a better understanding of the mobile threat landscape.

As enterprises define their security priorities, we believe this research will help advance global awareness and perceptions of mobile risks. Based on the most up-to-date data on the threats organizations are facing, this report offers practical insights for informing your business’ security strategy in 2020.

Needless to say, we’re proud to be a contributor.

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Innovation is an underlying theme of this year’s Mobile Security Index. We all know that network operators and OEMs have innovated exponentially in recent years, but this report aims the spotlight on the ‘mal-innovators.’

Wandera’s data intelligence uncovers the security gaps leaving businesses vulnerable to a wide range of neoteric techniques that exploit remote users.

Criminals are using device-centric social engineering scams to hit users where they least expect it, such as in gaming, messaging and social media apps.

The rise of Punycode makes a phishing domain even harder to detect. In 2019, 7% of mobile phishing attacks included punny code, a 28% year-over-year increase.

Security can’t be left in the hands of end users, and well-known vulnerabilities are no exception.

In May 2019, WhatsApp announced a novel exploit that allowed hackers to infect mobile devices with surveillance tools — simply by making a call through the app. WhatsApp patched the vulnerability and urged its 1.5 billion users to install the update. Six months later, however, 9.9 million users had still not updated, leaving them susceptible to a threat that was widely reported.

Despite clear security advantages of cellular technology, mobile workers transfer 2.5x more data over Wi-Fi than over cellular.

While using Wi-Fi can save on mobile data, this is not without its own risks, as 7% of corporate users connect to risky hotspots each week. When the average user joins a public Wi-Fi network, they probably don’t stop to consider that they could be exposing corporate data, as well as their personal data, to a Man-in-the-Middle attack or a protocol attack, like SSL Stripping. This suggests that security is an afterthought to connectivity for many remote users.

Overall, the MSI underscores that businesses today are largely missing the security tools they need to protect their remote users, given what’s at stake. Download the full Verizon Mobile Security Index 2020 (MSI) to learn more.

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