In recent years, as the work-life balance seems to have blurred together, many employees now use their personal devices for work.
Fully 75 percent of employees said they used their personal cell phones to perform work activities, according to Zippia’s research team.
However, doing so presents a number of cybersecurity risks, including the threat of madware.
Madware is a combination of the words mobile and adware.
Adware is unwelcome software that infiltrates a computer and serves up annoying advertising materials.
By extension, mobile adware is intrusive advertising on a smartphone or tablet.
Currently, most madware exists for Android smartphones and tablets due to Android’s open platform and its worldwide market share — approximately 72% of mobile operating systems are Android.
While iOS devices still susceptible to madware, it’s more likely to infect Android devices.
The most likely method to get madware on your device is by downloading a free app from an app store.
Then, the madware may use that app to install itself onto your device.
Once installed, madware creators hope you’ll click on an advertisement, whether that’s on purpose or on accident.
When you click on madware, madware creators get paid by how many views the ad gets, how many clicks the ad gets, or how many times the software is added to a device.
Madware affects phones in a number of dizzying ways.
First, it’s important to note that adware—and by extension, madware—is not a virus.
However, madware can slow down your phone and make it prone to crashing, snarling workplace efficiency and potentially exposing your network to other threats.
Madware can also tag team with its cyberthreat counterpart, spyware, to report your information to a third party.
Together, madware and spyware can:
Finally, madware can charge you more than you wish for data and text messaging.
The madware may send you text messages that prompt you to click the link and further infect your phone.
As with any cyberthreat, the best protection is prevention.
That’s why we recommend including madware as a topic in your security awareness training.
The following tips should help prevent the spread of malware amongst your colleagues.
If you suspect madware has been installed on your personal device as a result of business usage, check with your IT team on endpoint detection & response programs that can be used to clean it up.
As you work to understand your business’ policies on using personal mobile devices for work purposes, keep madware in mind as a potential cybersecurity threat.
Work with your internal team to account for mobile adware, or work with an IT partner such as Integrity to support your team.
Still not sure how secure your organization’s data is? Download your complimentary, 20-point data security checklist today!
Integrity is a managed security service provider, specializing in compliance and working with regulated businesses and organizations. Integrity features a fully staffed help desk that provides immediate response and support, a dedicated information security team, and a C-suite of experienced technology advisement resources ready to help your business. Learn more about what we offer and what it’s like to work with us here.