Mobile security – what you should know about being mobile

mobile security

In a world in which one’s cell phone – or so one thinks – is never out of one’s sight, people often assume that it is also appropriately secure: After all, no one else has access to the device.

But far from it – even a cell phone can be controlled remotely, can be located or tapped and a password is easier to crack than you think. Business cell phones, which are often used to transmit valuable and highly confidential information, are particularly hard hit.

Mobile security – the business of surveillance

Since mobile electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, tablets and navigation systems have existed, the state has inevitably kept an eye on their users. Even corporate devices are not protected from this. The culprit here is so-called connection and transaction data: Whenever a mobile device is put into operation, it logs into the nearest telephone pole with its (IMSI and IMEI); this is where the strongest signal emanates, colloquially known as the network. This is the connection data. The device regularly scans at short intervals to see if there is already a stronger network than the previous one in the vicinity; if so, it logs into it.

If the device moves, for example, during a car journey or a train journey, it connects thus again and again in the middle in each case strongest telephone masts. So in this way, cell phones can be tracked at any time, without the need for any specific software. It is almost impossible to circumvent these measures, because a SIM card is not even required for the use of a device. Even if the SIM card is removed, a cell phone can be tracked via the connection and movement data (after all, it can also make calls without a SIM card: Rescue, police, fire department and other emergency calls are possible without a SIM card at all).

The few ways to circumvent connection and movement data retention is to leave all mobile devices at home, but that is professionally impossible. Especially in the B2B sector, it is therefore advisable to use crypto cell phones, one of which remains in the company, the other at home, in order to be reachable. The challenge: crypto phones are cost-intensive and only function optimally if the person on the other end of the line also uses such a device.

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Physical security

Today, portable devices such as cell phones or tablets in particular often serve as caches for more or less important data. Above all, therefore, the physical integrity should also be valued, because if the data is not additionally secured on an external storage medium and the cell phone is destroyed, you will never get your data back. The memories from the wedding day, the first videos of the family on vacation – everything is irretrievably ruined. For those who don’t feel like spending a lot of time setting up backups, the option of using a cloud is recommended: So you have all the data you store in the cloud on all the devices that are networked in it. Otherwise, for physical protection, a suitable Samsung Galaxy phone case can also help.

However, as little data as possible should be stored on a crypto cell phone; it should also be used as little as possible to minimize the risk. Telephony and at most simple SMS – and these only in exceptional cases – should at best be the only possible applications of a crypto cell phone in mobile B2B security.

Cell phone tracking made easy

If you search for ways to locate your partner’s cell phone on Google in the search box, you’re guaranteed to end up on fraudulent websites that promise the yellow of the egg but deliver only broken shells. To locate a cell phone you do not need an app, expensive software or other equipment. Every manufacturer has the ability to track your phone if you lose it. The only thing needed is the type of cell phone and the phone number. So if someone knows which cell phone with which phone number to look for, it’s easy to track it down. The disadvantage: the rightful owner of the cell phone actually receives an SMS with the information that his cell phone is currently being tracked – in real time! However, this is extremely difficult with crypto devices in the business world, as internal company cell phone numbers are often only known within the company.

What to know

The fact is that there is no such thing as one hundred percent security. Nowhere. It is only possible to approach it asymptotically by having a healthy mindset and being aware of the risks that can occur. The level of mobile security only arises from the individual’s own use, and in addition to connection and movement data and cell phone tracking, there are countless other risks to which owners of mobile devices can be exposed. The belief that you can’t leave home without your cell phone these days has played into the hands of the state: Because in this way, users always and constantly transmit their whereabouts data; regardless of whether the cell phone has a SIM card or whether the navigation system is perhaps older. And whether it’s a crypto phone or not.

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