QR code use grows in popularity but poses hidden risks

Using QR codes has risen in the course of the pandemic as they provide an ideal answer to contactless interplay. However many staff are additionally utilizing their cell units to scan QR codes for private use, placing themselves and enterprise assets in danger.

A brand new research from safety platform MobileIron reveals that 84 % of individuals have scanned a QR code earlier than, with 32 % having accomplished so previously week and 26 % previously month.

Within the final six months, 38 % of respondents say they’ve scanned a QR code at a restaurant, bar or café, 37 % at a retailer and 32 % on a client product. It is clear that codes are widespread and 53 % of respondents need to see them used extra broadly sooner or later. 43 % plan to make use of a QR code as a fee technique within the close to future and 40 % of individuals could be keen to vote utilizing a QR code acquired within the mail, if it was an choice.

Nonetheless, QR codes are a tempting assault route for hackers too because the cell consumer interface prompts customers to take rapid actions, whereas limiting the quantity of data obtainable earlier than, for instance, visiting an internet site.

“Hackers are launching assaults throughout cell menace vectors, together with emails, textual content and SMS messages, prompt messages, social media and different modes of communication,” says Alex Mosher, international vice chairman of options at MobileIron. “I anticipate we’ll quickly see an onslaught of assaults by way of QR codes. A hacker may simply embed a malicious URL containing customized malware right into a QR code, which may then exfiltrate knowledge from a cell gadget when scanned. Or, the hacker may embed a malicious URL right into a QR code that directs to a phishing website and encourages customers to expose their credentials, which the hacker may then steal and use to infiltrate an organization.”

Virtually three-quarters (71 %) of respondents say they will’t distinguish between a legit and malicious QR code, whereas 67 % are in a position to distinguish between a legit and malicious URL.

There’s restricted understanding of what the codes can do too, whereas 67 % are conscious that QR codes can open a URL, solely 19 % of respondents imagine scanning a QR code can draft an electronic mail, 20 % imagine scanning a QR code can begin a telephone name and 24 % imagine scanning a QR code can provoke a textual content message. 35 % are merely not sure whether or not hackers can goal victims utilizing a QR code.

“Firms have to urgently rethink their safety methods to concentrate on cell units,” provides Mosher. “On the similar time, they should prioritize a seamless consumer expertise. A unified endpoint administration answer can present the IT controls wanted to safe, handle and monitor each gadget, consumer, app and community getting used to entry enterprise knowledge, whereas maximizing productiveness. Organizations also can construct upon UEM with a cell menace protection answer to detect and remediate cell threats, together with malicious QR codes, even when a tool is offline.”

You possibly can learn extra on the MobileIron website and there is an infographic abstract of the findings under.

QR code use grows in popularity but poses hidden risks

Photograph Credit score: zhu difeng/Shutterstock