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Impact of mobile devices on cyber security essay

Impact of mobile devices on cyber security essay.

Impact of mobile devices on cyber security essay

Category: Education

Summary of Assignment

·Task: The multiple-source essay asks you to synthesize the arguments of at least 10 sources. You will be expanding on a Six-Source Essay, so you will only be adding four additional sources.

·Length: 2000-3000 words

·Format: APA

·Sources: a total of at least 10 sources, all of which should be from scholarly journals or credible trade journals.

o If you cite sources from websites or popular journals, these sources should be inaddition to the 10 sources you have cited from scholarly or trade journals.

·Topic: “The Impact of Mobile Devices on Cybersecurity”.

It is recommended that you focus on or expand on the essay that you wrote for the Six-Source Essay. You will continue with the topic you have selected and will conductadditional searches in the library databases, hopefully focus the topic more, anddetermine the 10 or more sources to use in this essay. Please note that this is a reviewof the literature on a topic. It is not a persuasive essay using sources to support a point.Rather it is an overview of the current research on a topic.

·Integration of Sources: At least eight sources must be cited in the body of the essay. You may cite sources in your introduction to help you define terms, and you may citesources in your conclusion to help you direct the reader to further inquiry. However, thebody of the essay should synthesize at least 8 sources.

Point of view

For this essay, you will use third-person point of view.

Please do not use first person point of view (e.g., “I,” “me,” “we”) in writing this essay.

In addition, please do not use second-person point of view (“you” or “your”) in writing this essay. For example, instead of “Smith argues that, as a director, you have a duty to coordinate cybersecurity efforts…” you would write, “Smith argues that directors have a duty to coordinate cybersecurity efforts…”

Requirements: 2000-3000 words

Outline

Title: Mobile devices are the primary threat to cybersecurity

Thesis: This paper will discuss mobile devices as the primary threat to cybersecurity, the role of mobile devices usersand employees in organizations in cybersecurity threats, and their lack of awareness as cybersecurity threats.

  1. Introduction
  2. Cybersecurity refers to safeguarding computer networks and systems from disclosing information, damage to or theft of their software, hardware, or electronic data, and protection from the misdirection or disruption of the services they deliver.
  3. On the other hand, cyber-attacks refer to offensive activities by cyber criminals targeting personal computer devices, infrastructures, computer information systems, and computer networks.
  4. Several factors have contributed to the escalating levels of cyber crimes at individual, organizational and global levels.
  5. Thesis
  6. The role of mobile devices users on cybersecurity threat
  7. The rapid growth in technology has led to the increased use of mobile devices.
  8. Even with the popularity of mobile devices and the liberation thereof, cyber threats remain and continue to be more sophisticated.
  9. Research shows that the penetration rate for mobile devices globally is over 97% constituting over seven billion subscribers.
  10. The increased use of mobile devices has consequently led to increased cybercrimes
  11. Eustace et al. (2018) suggest that implementing a national security standard to ascertain that all mobile devices are secure would be greatly helpful in fighting cybercrimes among mobile devices users.
  12. Yesilyurt & Yalman (2016) recommend that mobile devices users be educated on the safe mobile devices to buy and own based on the credibility and safety of their operating systems.
  13. Lack of awareness among mobile devices users in cybersecurity threats
  14. Most internet users are unaware of impending cyber threats and attacks.
  15. Social networking mobile applications host a wealth of personal data and information, attracting cyber attackers.
  16. Unsuspecting mobile devices users fall prey to cyber-attack traps like downloading malware that has viruses, enabling cybercriminals to access their devices and subsequently their data.
  17. Today’s apps also carry dozens of advertisements that carry viruses and entice gullible mobile devices users.
  18. According to Zwilling et al. (2020), effective cyber security-based training programs to create more awareness of cyber attacks and necessary protective measures are also recommended.
  19. The research done by Dawson et al. (2016) proposes that implementing a national security policy for mobile devices will be significantly important in safeguarding sensitive personal data.
  20. Role of employees in organizations in cybersecurity threats
  21. Employees pose the most significant cybersecurity threats to their organizations.
  22. The employees’ literacy levels and IT staff are also inadequate, thus limiting their awareness of dynamic preventive procedures and policies of cyberattacks.
  23. The lack of sufficient knowledge of old and upcoming sophisticated cybersecurity threats remains a challenge to mobile devices users in combating cybercrimes.
  24. The bring your device (BYOD) practice in organizations has further fuelled cyber attacks.
  25. Nee & Tu (2018) propose that it would be critical for organizations to implement systems to evaluate their employees’ know-how on cybersecurity to know which areas are more demanding and need urgent attention.
  26. Woldemichael (2019) recommends that organizations frequently update their security software and enlighten their employees to do the same.
  27. Woldemichael’s research further asserts that it would also be of great help to change employees’ attitudes and thoughts about cybercrimes to mitigate their vulnerability and gullibility to cyber-attacks that are real and all over globally.
  28. Conclusion – A summary of the key points.

The impact of mobile devices on cybersecurity

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Mobile devices are the primary threat to cybersecurity

Introduction

Cybersecurity refers to safeguarding computer networks and systems from disclosing information, damage to or theft of their software, hardware, or electronic data, and protection from the misdirection or disruption of the services they deliver. On the other hand, cyber-attacks refer to offensive activities by cyber criminals targeting personal computer devices, infrastructures, computer information systems, and computer networks. Hackers and cybercriminals use diverse methods to launch cyberattacks, for instance, ransomware, malware, phishing, and denial of service. Cyber-attacks have continued to become prevalent globally, making cyber crimes among the top ten global risks (Ambore et al., 2017). Several factors have contributed to the escalating levels of cybercrimes at the individual, organizational and international levels. This paper will thus discuss mobile devices as the primary threat to cybersecurity, the role of mobile devices usersand employees in organizations in cybersecurity threats, and their lack of awareness as cybersecurity threats.

The role of mobile devices users in cybersecurity threats

Mobile devices refer to various handheld and portable computers, for instance, smartphones, e-readers, and tablets. The rapid growth in technology has led to the increased use of mobile devices. The freedom to use mobile devices contrary to personal computers and desktops and not being limited to specific geographical locations has come with its share of problems and challenges in upholding security while transversing cyberspace (Chin et al., 2016). Even with the popularity of mobile devices and the liberation thereof, cyber threats remain and continue to be more sophisticated (Yesilyurt and Yalman, 2016). Smartphones have gained much popularity worldwide, primarily due to their improved capabilities, like personal computers. In a previous report, smartphones were essentially bought compared to personal computers (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). Mobile devices have become a convenient and effective avenue for finding, accessing, and sharing information.

Consequently, this availability of information has led to increased cyber-attacks. Additionally, mobile devices have given billions of people access to cyberspace. According to Ambore et al. (2017), research shows that the penetration rate for mobile devices globally is over 97% constituting over seven billion subscribers. The portability of mobile devices makes it easier for them to be stolen by cybercriminals who bypass security channels and use the information therein to commit all sorts of cybercrimes (Riggiero & Foote, 2020).

The increased use of mobile devices has consequently led to increased cybercrimes. The high prevalence of cyber-attacks has brought immense and significant ramifications. Some good examples are the 2016 presidential election breach in the United States and the collapse of Yahoo (Nee & Tu, 2018). Another example is the 2020 Valentine’s Day attack in the US. The attackers distributed an application for mobile picture sharing, which sent premium-rate text messages secretly from the user’s mobile device (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). 

Notably, 96% of smartphones currently lack pre-installed security software (Dawson et al., 2016). Cyber attackers get an opportunity to hack into various popular mobile devices like Blackberry, iPhone, and Android in these security loopholes. The traditional security software installed in personal computers (PCs), such as encryption, antivirus, and firewall, presently lacks smartphones. Thus it makes personal computers safer than smartphones in cyber attacks since smartphones are used for individual tasks such as online shopping, social networking, point of sales payments processing, and conducting monetary transactions. Dawson et al. (2016) further assert that the ability to carry out financial transactions attracts hackers and cyber attackers more since they can access the bank details of their victims. Currently, mobile devices are used by banking institutions to offer banking services to more than two billion people who otherwise did not have that privilege and access to formal banking services. Research indicates that mobile fraud escalated to 173% from 2013 to 2015 (Ambore et al., 2017). Mobile transactions have thus played a significant role in the high cybercrime rates. 

The ease of carrying smartphones anywhere and carrying out personal tasks with them further makes cyber attackers access personal data helpful in accomplishing their cybersecurity attacks. Smartphones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) allow users to access the internet, emails, GPS navigations, social media networks, and other diverse applications. However, the manufacturers of these mobile devices have not kept up with the pace with necessary security measures. In contrast to personal computers, smartphones lack high-tech security measures such as firewalls, encryptions, and antivirus. (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). Besides, the operating systems for mobile devices are not frequently updated like those of personal computers. Yesilyurt & Yalman (2016) recommend that mobile devices users be educated on the safe mobile devices to buy and own based on the credibility and safety of their operating systems.

Notably, some operating systems are more potent and safer than others. In research done by Dawson et al. (2016), the results revealed that android applications and phones are more susceptible to cyber-attacks through contracting malware. The applications in android phones request unnecessarily more permission, making it easy for the applications to access user’s data, compromising their privacy laws. On the other hand, Apple devices have limited access to some applications tightening their security against cyber attacks. Hence enlightenment on this will help mitigate cyber-attacks through mobile devices users. Eustace et al. (2018) suggest that implementing a national security standard to ascertain that all mobile devices are secure would be greatly helpful in fighting cybercrimes among mobile devices users.

Lack of awareness among mobile devices users in cybersecurity threats

Most internet users are unaware of impending cyber threats and attacks. However, they only employ inadequate protective measures, mostly quite simple and common ones. Increased cyber knowledge is connected to the cyber awareness level, which is connected to protection tools (Zwilling et al., 2020). Hence, there is a relationship between knowledge, awareness, and behaviours. Human beings play a considerable role in causing cyber attacks. Unfortunately, mobile devices users are not aware of the security shortcomings of their mobile gadgets. On buying these devices, most users do not enable the security software installed on their devices. 56% of mobile devices users believe that it is safer for them to access the internet with those devices than their personal computers and laptops (Dawson, 2016). In essence, the opposite is true. Personal computers are much safer (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). The internet and easy access to mobile devices has made the world a global village.

In this era of social media, one can communicate with people across the globe with much ease and comfort. However, social networking mobile applications host a wealth of personal data and information, attracting cyber attackers (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). Unsuspecting mobile devices users fall prey to cyber-attack traps like downloading malware that has viruses, enabling cybercriminals to access their devices and subsequently their data. Interestingly, most social media scams are spread manually, about 70% of them. Today’s apps also carry dozens of advertisements that carry viruses and entice gullible mobile devices users (Kauthamy et al., 2017). Mobile devices also have vulnerabilities that remain unknown to most users (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). Besides, most mobile devices users are unaware of the safety against cyber-attacks of the operating systems of their gadgets. The typical operating systems are android by Google, Windows by Microsoft, Symbian by Nokia, IOS by Apple, and Java Micro Edition. Notably, they have various weaknesses depending on their code and processes. According to Eustace et al. (2018), research shows that 17% of the applications available to Android mobile devices users are malware. Moreover, most mobile devices users are unaware of the aftermath and repercussions of allowing their permission to the apps, consequently increasing cyber-attacks.

Eustace et al. (2018) suggest that public education on cybersecurity is warranted where the general public will be enlightened on cyberattacks and how to notice them and take precautions against them. According to Zwilling et al. (2020), effective cyber security-based training programs to create more awareness of cyber attacks and necessary protective measures are also recommended. On the other hand, the research done by Dawson et al. (2016) proposes that implementing a national security policy for mobile devices will be significantly important in safeguarding sensitive personal data

Role of employees in organizations in cybersecurity threats

Woldemichael (2019) argues that employees pose the most significant cybersecurity threats to their organizations. They still use the old software, have no updated operating systems, and have permanent passwords to their mobile gadgets, default and weak. Consequently, it renders them and the organization vulnerable to cyber attacks. Additionally, the emergence of new technology like cloud computing, loT (Internet of Things), and 5G mobile technologies has advanced information security threats. The employees’ literacy levels and IT staff are also inadequate, thus limiting their awareness of dynamic preventive procedures and policies of cyberattacks. This unawareness is caused by the reluctance to take long and short-term training on major cyberattacks like phishing, social engineering, ransomware, DDoS, and malware (malicious software), including computer viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and spyware (Ruggiero & Foote, 2020). The lack of sufficient knowledge of old and upcoming sophisticated cybersecurity threats remains a challenge to mobile devices users in combating cybercrimes (Kauthamy et al., 2017). Therefore, information security consciousness, ascertaining that all personnel becomes aware of the regulations and rules concerning securing the organization’s information, is warranted in organizations. He further stipulates that as the hackers continue to be more sophisticated, it is paramount for organizations to create awareness about significant and emerging cyber-attacks in organizations. However, most organizations have put little or no investment in their Information Technology departments, consequently increasing possibilities for cyber attacks. Accordingly, more untrained personnel and IT staff on cybersecurity render the organization susceptible to cyber attacks. 

While organizations may have put in place security measures against cyberattacks, their employees may be a significant threat to the actualization of their cybersecurity. The bring your device (BYOD) practice in organizations has further fuelled cyber attacks (Nee & Tu, 2018). Employees report to work with their computer gadgets and mobile devices used in other places to access different internet sites at home. They unknowingly use their unsecured mobile devices at the workplace and connect them to their organizations’ computer systems and networks. On the other hand, organizations cannot coerce them to install security software on their employees’ mobile devices, making it tricky. Consequently, they pose a significant cybersecurity threat to their organizations by creating loopholes in their security systems (Nee & Tu, 2018). Unfortunately, some of these employees have no clue about the impending cyber attack danger they pose to their organizations. 

Nee & Tu (2018) propose that it would be critical for organizations to implement systems to evaluate their employees’ know-how on cybersecurity to know which areas are more demanding and need urgent attention. Further, they should create sensitizations to their employees on cybersecurity issues, threats, and preventive measures. As a result, more trained personnel and staff on cybersecurity will help mitigate the cyber attacks in organizations. Woldemichael (2019) recommends that organizations frequently update their security software and enlighten their employees to do the same. As cyberattacks become more complicated, security software must also be more sophisticated to match upcoming and well-crafted cyber threats. Woldemichael’s research further asserts that it would also be of great help to change employees’ attitudes and thoughts about cybercrimes to mitigate their vulnerability and gullibility to cyber-attacks that are real and all over globally. He concludes that organizations must do continuous security assessments of their mobile devices to take necessary measures and apply necessary precautionary and preventive measures.

Conclusion

 In a nutshell, the impact of mobile devices on cybersecurity is enormous. Mobile devices are the primary cybersecurity threat. The ease of accessibility and use of mobile devices is enticing to cybercriminals who use the loopholes in the security systems of those mobile devices to launch cyber attacks. Mobile devices users play a significant role in cybersecurity threats. Also, employees to organizations pose major cybersecurity threats to their organizations, either unknowingly or out of lack of awareness on cybersecurity and the necessary protective measures. In addition, the lack of understanding of cybersecurity among mobile devices users and organizations’ employees further increases cyber attacks. However, creating awareness on cybersecurity in the general public among mobile devices users and employees of organizations can help mitigate cyber attacks. It will also be enormously helpful to educate the general public and organization employees on the best and safest mobile devices to buy that have protective measures against cyber attacks. Additionally, doing continuous security assessments will also inform organizations on the necessary preventive measures to keep up with security demands brought by cyber attacks. Finally, implementing cybersecurity national standards and policies would also be significantly helpful in curbing cybercrimes. 

References

Ambore, S., Richardson, C., Dogan, H., Apeh, E., & Osselton, D. (2017). A resilient cybersecurity framework for mobile financial services (MFS). Journal of Cyber Security Technology1(3-4), 202-224. doi:10.1080/23742917.2017.1386483

Chin, A. G., Etudo, U., & Harris, M. A. (2016, May). On Mobile Device Security Practices and Training Efficacy: An Empirical Study. ERIC – Education Resources Information Center. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1117156.pdf

Dawson, M., Wright, J., & Omar, M. (2016). Mobile devices: The Case for Cyber Security Hardened Systems. New Threats and Countermeasures in Digital Crime and Cyber Terrorism, 8-29. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-8345-7.ch002

Eustace, K., Islam, R., Tsang, P., & Fellows, G. (2018). Human factors, self-awareness, and intervention approach in cybersecurity when using mobile devices and social networks. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, 166-181. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-78816-6_13

Kauthamy, K., Ashrafi, N., & Kuilboer, J. P. (2017). Mobile Devices and Cyber Security An Exploratory Study on User’s Response to Cyber Security Challenges. Management Science and Information Systems, University of Massachusetts Boston. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/cf83/5953d3f3f76a0f524296ae5e475d8894e182.pdf

Nee, B. A., & Tu, M. (2018). The social, economic, environmental, human health, and cybersecurity impacts of wireless and mobile computing. Journal of Communications, 32-39. doi:10.12720/jcm.13.1.32-39

Ruggiero, P., & Foote, J. (2020, February 14). Cyber security awareness, knowledge, and behaviour: A comparative study. Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.1080/08874417.2020.1712269

Woldemichael, H. T. (2019). Emerging Cyber Security Threats in Organization. International Journal of Scientific Research in Network Security and Communication7(6), 7-10. https://www.ijsrnsc.org/pub_paper/IJSRNSC/2-IJSRNSC-0498.pdf

Yesilyurt, M., & Yalman, Y. (2016). Security threats on mobile devices and their effects: Estimations for the future. International Journal of Security and Its Applications10(2), 13-26. doi:10.14257/ijsia.2016.10.2.02

Zwilling, M., Klien, G., Lesjak, D., Wiechetek, Ł., Cetin, F., & Basim, H. N. (2020). Cyber security awareness, knowledge, and behaviour: A comparative study. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/08874417.2020.1712269

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