Here are two questions for you, both of which I will answer personally:

  • Has your laptop or desktop PC ever been a victim of cybercrime such as phishing, malware or ransomware? – For me, yes.
  • Have any of your mobile devices such as a tablet or smartphone ever been hacked? For me, no.

So what makes portable devices so much more secure than legacy technologies? Let’s explore and find out.


When the Windows operating system (OS) was first created way back in 1985 by Microsoft, it was made for standalone PCs and not developed with the internet and a connected world in mind. As such, the Windows OS contained security flaws from the outset, and even after 36 years of evolution and improvement, some believe that it is still riddled with security issues. On the other hand, operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and Linux were developed on a multi-user platform and designed for computer networking, the iOS for smartphones only being unveiled in 2007. With 86% of the world’s computers operating on Windows, cyber security and data protection are a major thorn in the side. Almost every business on the planet now protects its IT with multiple forms of anti-virus software, patches, firewalls, and secure web gateways to ensure that sensitive data doesn’t get compromised. And no doubt you’ll protect your personal laptop or desktop using Microsoft Windows Defender at the very least. And if you’re an Apple fan, there’s always FileVault 2.


So why are smartphones, along with other mobile devices such as tablets, potentially free from hacking? There are two simple answers. First off, portable devices were designed to be used in a connected world. Put simply, you could say that smartphones, IoT gadgets and other modern mobile IT technologies have additional layers of security acting as a deterrent from hacking. Secondly, the mobile devices of today have been designed by developers who applied lessons learned from the desktops that preceded them. In layman’s terms, mobile devices started out with a very different built-in security model compared with the original Windows OS, which had very little security.


Another reason why mobile devices such as smartphones are deemed as being more secure is that you can’t find those mobile devices via IP [Internet protocol] addresses like you can find a server at a company. President of the Californian cybersecurity company FireEye, Kevin Mandia, explains why Apple’s iOS is particularly difficult to hack:

“You buy the apps from the App Store, a single app store, and unless you ‘jailbreak’ it, it’s a small operating system so there’s less ways to hack it right now.”

But does that mean that smartphones are devoid of incidents of hacking? That all depends.


According to Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense (MTD), mobile attacks almost doubled compared to the previous year, reaching 116.5 million. In a statement, Gartner said:

“… a decrease in unique malware samples implies that attackers are delivering more efficient mobile malware.”

 Gartner’s revelations should raise some concerns over smartphone security, if not provide food for thought. Remember that in any cybersecurity strategy, humans – yes, us – are the weakest link in the chain. Don’t open or click on links on phishing emails or join unsolicited Zoom or Teams meetings. And reporting suspicious events is just as important as not been hacked. Mandia said:

“train enough people so you can raise the bar of human detection.”


While you might think that employees using their personal smartphones for work is a plus and saves you money, think again. A single smartphone can put all your company data at risk, should it fall prey to hacking. I don’t want my smartphone to be hacked, and by, extension, neither should that happen to you or your employees. When it comes to cybersecurity, data protection, and device monitoring, I’m your man. Contact me today and avail yourself of expert cybersecurity training.

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