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Impact of Mobile Devices on CyberSecurity

Impact of Mobile Devices on CyberSecurity
Jacqueline Williams
University of Maryland, Global Campus
WRTG 391: Advanced Research Writing
Professor Shelly Gussis
July 8, 2021
Impact of Mobile Devices on CyberSecurity
Cybercrimes and cyber attacks have continued to gain popularity and prevail,
especially in this current age where most people have access to mobile phones and
computers, necessitating more stringent cybersecurity measures. However, while these
measures continue to be put in place, the general public, employees in companies, and
governments have a significant role in enabling and ensuring its success. This paper will
discuss how educating the general public and employees on cybersecurity and the protective
measures thereof at a personal, organizational and national level can help improve
Educating the General Public and Company Employees on CyberSecurity and
Protective Measures
With the constant global change and evolution, most people now own a mobile phone
and a computer or have access to one or both of them. Even children and minors have
constant access to these gadgets. While this is the case, most of these users are unaware of
their gullibility to cyber-attacks which often, are just a click or download away (Eustace
et.al., 2018). Admittedly, most people are not even aware of the functionalities of some apps
on their gadgets and the good or damage they could bring if one makes a slight mistake or
uses them mistakenly. Thus, it necessitates the general public to be well enlightened on
cybersecurity and protect themselves from cyber-attacks and cybercrimes.
About 42% of smartphone users are unaware of what their permission to apps means.
That is barely half of the population owning smartphones evidencing the high vulnerability to
cyber attacks. Thus, people need to be educated on the apps to permit, clearly understand
their permission to apps, the advantages, and the consequences. Additionally, sensitization of
the general public, particularly on know-how on which apps to download. It is an initiative
informed by the statistics that malware is encompassed in over 17% of applications used by
android users and that social media frauds totaling over 70% are spread manually (Eustace et
al., 2018). Education and sensitization of the general public can thus help reduce these
numbers and prevent most cyberattacks and cybercrimes.
On the other hand, companies can have strict measures against cyber-attacks while
their employees unknowingly create a loophole in their systems and pose to them the same
threat they are fighting. Similarly to the general public, employees are equally unaware of the
risks they pose to their companies and employers through their phones, laptops, and the
gadgets they use at work (Nee & Tu, 2018). On their unsecured devices, they use the
company’s systems and networks. However, the companies may not coerce their employees
to put security measures on their gadgets. Educating them rather on cybersecurity would thus
be more effective in preventing cyber-attacks and maximizing cybersecurity. Evaluating their
employees’ cybersecurity knowledge and protecting themselves against cybercrimes will help
the companies know the specific areas of concern to educate and sensitize their employees on
(Nee & Tu, 2018). As such, the companies will improve cybersecurity through the help of
their enlightened employees besides the measures it has put in place as a company and
employer to curb cyber attacks.
Mobile devices, smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets continue to flood the market
today. Consequently, the operating systems of these gadgets are equally countless and
diversified. Such include Symbian operating system by Nokia, Windows by Microsoft, IOS
operating system by Apple, Java Micro Edition, and Android by Google (Yesilyurt &
Yalman, 2016). As the numbers of these devices increase daily, cybersecurity risks continue
to increase, too, being facilitated by using some of these devices. Hence, the rate of mobile
devices uses correlates with the rate of cyberattacks. Most mobile users are clueless about
these, among many other operating systems, their functionalities, advantages, and
disadvantages. These mobile devices have vulnerabilities and weaknesses in their codes and
processes. For instance, 96% of mobile devices lack pre-installed security software. Also,
while Apple devices limit accessibility to some applications, android devices are
disadvantaged since the safety levels of applications have not been established by the google
play store. Android users are thus prone to hackers who get access to their data by bypassing
security systems. (Dawson et al., 2016). Unfortunately, these users can only report such
instances once they fall prey to cyber-attacks and the repercussions that come with them.
Hence, it is quite difficult for buyers to settle for and buy the right gadgets with the
right operating systems that suit their technological, communications, and personal needs.
Thus, creating awareness on how various operating systems contribute to cybersecurity
would equip individuals and company employees on the best and most secure mobile devices
to own and use (Yesilyurt & Yalman, 2016). Consequently, this would be paramount and
significantly helpful in fighting against cyber attacks and improving cybersecurity.
Interventions to Improve CyberSecurity at a National Level
The fight against cyber attacks and cyber crimes calls for intervention at the national
level too. Individuals and organizations can put all the necessary measures to improve
cybersecurity, but these measures cannot be fully effective without government support. The
governments have a significant role in implementing national cybersecurity standards
(Dawson et.al., 2016). Cybersecurity can be relative to different people and companies,
including the manufacturers of mobile devices. However, the government can harmonize this
and develop specific standards that all people and organizations will follow. As a result,
manufacturers of these mobile devices and their operating systems will have distinct
specifications to incorporate in those devices and operating systems.
Additionally, mobile devices users and particularly companies will understand the
specific measures to abide by, the security devices to buy, the secure apps to install, and the
insecure websites and applications that are a no-go zone. The national standards should also
be reviewed constantly and readjusted accordingly to effectively respond to the changing
forms and ways of cyber-attacks and cybercrimes. Times are constantly changing, and
criminals are devising new ways, methods, and manifestations of cyber crimes and attacks
The national cybersecurity standards will also control the accessibility to information,
and its sharing thereof since the availability of uncontrolled information has significantly
increased cybercrimes. While mobile devices cannot be limited, the information accessed and
shared can be regulated to improve cybersecurity. In addition, the national cybersecurity
standards will ensure that all devices, including mobile phones, laptops, and desktops, are
secure against cyber attacks (Dawson et al., 2016). Hence, people will be able to comfortably
use any of these devices, assured of their security, contrary to days back when people
considered mobile phones more secure than desktops for connectivity.
While mobile devices significantly impact cybersecurity, mobile devices users,
employees in companies, and the governments can also significantly reverse the otherwise
escalating cyberattacks and cybercrimes. Educating individuals and company employees on
cybersecurity and how to protect themselves and their companies against cyber attacks can
help improve cybersecurity. Being enlightened on the most secure devices to buy and use and
the secure apps to install and download will be of utmost help. Also, most importantly, it
would be crucial for the governments to implement national cybersecurity standards. As a
result, manufacturers will produce secure gadgets, and individuals and company employees
will have stringent and distinctively laid out cybersecurity measures to follow. The
manufacturers who will not comply with the national cybersecurity standards will face strong
competition from their competitors and will have to re-invent themselves to make sales of
secure mobile devices and gadgets. With that, cybersecurity will prevail, and people will
comfortably use mobile devices and gadgets without cyberattacks.
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
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
Yesilyurt, M., & Yalman, Y. (2016). Security threats on mobile devices and their effects:
Estimations for the future. International Journal of Security and Its
Applications, 10(2), 13-26. doi:10.14257/ijsia.2016.10.2.02

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