The revelation that Israeli company NSO Group’s spy software Pegasus was targeting the smartphones of activists, journalists and business executives sent a shockwave through the international press.

The spyware successfully infiltrated the mobile devices of more than 50,000 people, from Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador to reporters from CNN to Claude Mangin, the French wife of a political activist jailed in Morocco.

Simply put: if spyware can infect and infiltrate the world’s elite on every corner of the planet, that means the threat to organizations and individuals must be taken seriously. Spyware impacts everyone.

Moreover, in today’s work-from-anywhere world, mobile devices are critical to any job, and the ability to access email, customer information and proprietary data while on the go is non-negotiable.

Mobile Devices are Mission-Critical

Because of the wealth of data that can be accessed from a mobile device, companies must treat these devices as mission-critical to business continuity.

This means having control and visibility into what is happening on a mobile device, so they can prevent spyware attacks from compromising critical data.

Shawn Smith, director of infrastructure at application security provider nVisium, pointed out that the transition to a remote work style has changed the attack vector for spyware slightly.

“For example, in the past, all the networking gear in an office would be tightly controlled, monitored and patched for security issues as needed,” he said. “However, in a world where employees can work from anywhere, their home networking equipment becomes a new security issue.”

Smith said with such a wide variety of equipment that can be used, often in an unmaintained and unsecured state, this makes the issue of spyware much harder to defend against.

“You have to double your efforts on the security and encryption of the devices you can control, such as the employee’s corporate computer, and rely less on the network monitoring approach that was used in the past,” he said.