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Your device is out of date and out of time | CultureAI

Your device is out of date and out of time

Category
Responding to human risk
By
Max Kurton, CultureAI
By Max Kurton
Date
7th Nov 2022
For
Security awareness pros

The risks of logging in from an out-of-date mobile device

An organisation's likelihood of suffering a damaging breach of potentially sensitive data points triples substantially if more than half of its endpoints are out-of-date. In our rapidly changing digital environment, hackers constantly seek new ways to attack vulnerable data; thus, controlling old software may be more crucial than you think. These days, many firms place a high priority on mobile efforts since studies show that more mobility helps businesses increase operations and production.

However, as corporate mobility rises, you may expect an increase in mobile devices using remote connections to access your systems. As a result, your security teams will have a broader range of endpoints and threats to secure to safeguard your company from a data breach.

These findings highlight the significance of the risk posed by out-of-date operating systems, browsers, and software. If you don't update your software, your firm may be exposed to serious security issues, and you won't have the most recent version.

Mobile security needs ongoing work to identify and patch vulnerabilities that malicious actors use to access your systems and data unauthorisedly, just like other data security programs. 

These vulnerabilities are addressed by operating system updates from companies like Apple and Google.

For instance, Apple published a patch to shield customers from three zero-day vulnerabilities it discovered in 2016 that exposed its devices to spyware assaults. 

These patches, however, are only effective at defending your company if your staff members always keep their devices up to date. Furthermore, according to Verizon's Mobile Security Index Report, four out of five (79%) believe a mobile security compromise could disrupt their entire supply chain, resulting in serious financial implications.


So, is it safe to use an outdated phone?

A compromised phone might provide anyone total access to whatever is stored on your device. This can include your personal and business emails, contact information, financial information, and call recordings. Suppose you continue using a hacked handset without realising it has been compromised. In that case, the bad actor can continue accessing the current data and any new information you store on the device.

The risks associated with unsupported or outdated software, browsers, and operating systems in mobile devices have long-reaching consequences. It can disrupt all areas of business and the compromised employee's personal life if they mix both personal and business content in one device.

Disruption of business operations and functionality

The numerous gadgets connected to your company's network are harmful illustrations of outdated software. These gadgets might be more crucial to your company than you realise, which means a virus on one of them could seriously interrupt operations. Depending on the industry, the danger, in this case, maybe more significant. For example, if you work in the healthcare industry, utilising obsolete software instead of updating a device's operating system could cause the system to malfunction. Think about it: if an MRI machine is using an operating system that is seen as being out of date and becomes infected with a worm, it might significantly impact your business.

Internet of Things Risk

The variety of mobile devices that connect to your company's systems is expanding beyond smartphones and tablets to include wearable technology (like the Apple Watch) and physical equipment (like Google Home or Alexa). Additionally, since many of the newest IoT, also known as the Internet of Things mobile devices have IP addresses, if such devices are connected to your systems, bad actors may utilise them to access your organisation's network through the internet. These IoT gadgets are another instance of modern technology that could be deemed obsolete if their operating systems are not routinely updated to counter the most recent security risks. Because the information held on all of our devices must be protected, Congress has been working on legislation establishing security standards for what businesses, the government, and technology providers are allowed to do with the data collected by our devices. 

An outdated system has no ransomware defence

A ransomware assault is one of the main dangers associated with outdated systems. More than 67 per cent of the computers infected with the WannaCry ransomware at the time of the assaults were still running Windows Vista, which is now regarded as an old operating system. The continuous usage of obsolete software exposed users to attackers even after Windows released improved data security after realising hackers had to access users' data. Suppose one of these mobile devices runs on an outdated operating system or uses an outdated browser. In that case, your corporate network has an increased risk of facing cyber-attacks.


Why staying updated is critically crucial

Updates, however, should not be disregarded. These are given out for very practical reasons. Although they frequently patch operating system vulnerabilities and harmful problems, which are considerably more critical, they occasionally include additions or general improvements. When you receive a warning to upgrade your operating system, you should do it as quickly as possible for the latter reason. Make sure your computer is set up to update automatically, or even better, check for updates as part of your routine.

Security concerns 

For hackers, outdated software is a gold mine. Companies are aware of this, and when they find a vulnerability, they update the operating system to fix the problem and seal the attack vector. The vulnerability still exists if you don't upgrade your gadget, and hackers know that many people are lax about doing so—employees who don't upgrade their laptops or mobile devices are under 40%. Because of unpatched/out-of-date software, some of the most significant malware attacks in recent years have been as dangerous as they have been.

Performance upgrades

Here's a justification for updating when the chance presents itself. These updates frequently address flaws that bring down your software or can cause annoyances that you might not even be aware of (or, worse, that you may be aware of but not be aware that there is a patch for it).


Want to learn more?

Learn how CultureAI prevents users from logging in from an out-of-date device.