June 2014

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1 Out of Every 10 Smartphone Users in the US is a Victim of Theft

Smartphones have been stolen at an alarming rate in the US over the past few years. This should be a concern as more companies are looking to implement BYOD.

A study discovered that 1 in 10 smartphone users are victims of device theft, with only 30% of victims ever getting their smartphone back.

The majority of the thefts occur when someone leaves or forgets the device in a public place. This accounts for 44% of all thefts. Of that 44%, restaurants are the most common place the theft occurs.

14% of thefts occur from a house or car that is burglarized. About 40% of victims had the smartphone stolen between 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and it took over an hour before they realized the device was missing.

This is bad news for enterprises, as 10% of mobile devices lost or stolen contain confidential information, according to mobile security provider Lookout’s “Phone Theft in America” report.

At least 12% of victims were hit with fraudulent charges on their stolen smartphones and 9% were hit with identify theft. You also incur a productivity loss when losing a smartphone as 90% attempt to reclaim the phone with 60% filing police reports.

A scary statistic is that 70% of people will go vigilante and put themselves in harms way in order to get their phones back. Some would even pay a ransom up to $1,000 dollars to retrieve the sensitive data on their phone!

Some key items in protecting your smartphone are: having a strong passcode, a locate my device app, and being vigilant about the phone’s whereabouts. iPhones and Androids are the most commonly stolen device, with 39% of victims reporting stolen iPhones and 33% reporting stolen Androids.

A major risk to corporate users is a smartphone that is setup for dual factor authentication. That could lead to a compromise of the corporate network. That is why a MDM solution is critical on devices, so that they can be wiped if the device is lost or stolen.

You need to remind your users about best practices when owning a smartphone and how to help prevent them from becoming a victim.

The full Lookout report is available here for download.

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If You Are a Small Business, You Are a Target

Nation states (China, Iran) are using small businesses as a jumping-off point to attack other networks. Think about it: how many people block the China IP address range? By using your network, they avoid being blocked. Also, if you do business with a large business, the hackers might use your network to compromise the large business. Which network is going to be easier to compromise?? Size of business does not matter. You still need to make sure that you have your network secured.

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DNSmadeeasyGadget/Service of the Month

I do a lot with next generation firewall’s and load balancing ISP connections. Outgoing connections always seem to work; it is the incoming connections that are always the issue. I have found a nice service that will load balance incoming connections: DNS Made Easy (http://www.dnsmadeeasy.com/). DNS made easy will monitor 2 different services. If one ISP goes down, it will detect it and redirect to the available service. It works very well and it allows you to avoid the expense of a global load balancer. And the price is very affordable, at about 100 dollars a year. If you are looking at failover or disaster recovery services for incoming connections, this is a very easy way to provide that service.

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auditFinal Thoughts

When was the last time you did an audit of your network security or of your network in general? I do audits from time to time, and what I discover is always interesting – from services accounts that are still active, to services that should not be running. This is not to fault the network administrators that are running the network. Many times they are overwhelmed or have more tasks than they can handle. Other times, they are too close to the network to see that an issue exists.

At any rate, it is always good to have a second set of eyes to review your network. In fact, you can contact me to setup your network audit today: james@tbjconsulting.com or call 262-373-9070.

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