Many mobile users are unaware their device might already have been hacked

A computer being guarded by cybersecurity.
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Cyber-hygiene among organizations is “abysmal” and many mobile users are running devices with known vulnerabilities, new research has claimed.

Jamf’s latest annual Security 360 report, based on data gathered from 15 million desktops, tablets, and smartphones across 90 countries and platforms (Windows, the Apple ecosystem, Android) found businesses are doing a poor job at securing their infrastructure and their employees, while hackers are getting ready to strike with “the most sophisticated attacks yet”.

The mobile platform is particularly vulnerable, with two in five (40%) mobile users, and a similar percentage of organizations (39%) found to be running a device with known vulnerabilities. The macOS platform, usually not as popular among hackers as Windows, still has at least 300 active malware families, with 21 new ones emerging in 2023.

Fairing "reasonably well"

What’s more, Trojans are growing in popularity, and now account for almost a fifth (17%) of all Mac malware instances. 

When it comes to phishing, it’s still the number one attack vector, but it’s worth mentioning that the attacks were 50% more successful on mobile devices than on Macs. A fifth (20%) of organizations were impacted by malicious network traffic, Jamf concluded.

“The data in our report shows that Mac and mobile fleets have fared reasonably well over the past 12-months, but that result is largely due to sheer luck; with a growing list of malicious tactics emerging and with organizations demonstrating poor security hygiene overall, the year ahead is likely to be bad for business if trends do not change,” said Michael Covington, VP of Portfolio Strategy at Jamf.. 

“It’s time for organizations to get their modern device estates in order by embracing industry best practices and building a defense-in-depth strategy for the hybrid workforce.”

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.