Weaknesses of mobiles and their apps

June 21, 2015 |

The privacy vulnerabilities associated with mobile phones and especially their apps have been well known for some time.  And the Android system, which powers Samsung mobile phones, has been particularly prone to security problems as is reported in Questions over Samsung’s handling of security flaw in millions of smartphones and Massive security flaw found in 600 million Samsung phones, including Galaxy S6.

Solutions Review reports in  New PulseSecure Report Finds Nearly 1,000,000 Unique Mobile Malware Threats on the ongoing and growing problem with mobile malware.  This is an issue that has been formally identified and investigated by privacy commissioners on a coordinated basis (see post here) but very little has been done beyond sounding the warning with the exception of the Federal Trade Commission who has taken action against defective apps (see post here).  Given the vast stores of personal information that can be accessed through mobile apps this is disappointing.

The article provides:

With the growing necessity to stay connected at all times through mobile devices, it’s only natural that mobile security threats grow accordingly. It’s true that mobile security, especially in the enterprise, has gotten better at detecting malware and protecting your data, but there’s another side to that coin: the more sophisticated mobile security gets, the smarter and more complex mobile malware becomes.

In their new 2015 Mobile Threat Report, security provider PulseSecure highlights and analyzes past and future mobile and BYOD threats to the enterprise, dispels old cautions and shows new directions for security, as mobile technology and malware evolve in 2015.

Nearly One Million Unique Samples of Mobile Malware

In 2014, PulseSecure identified 931,620 unique samples of Android malware across 1,268 know malware families, up 57% from 804 families in 2013. Android is the most popular target for mobile malware attacks, and the growing threat shows no signs of slowing down.

“2014 saw more mobile malware development in a single year than any year. With nearly one million unique malware samples identified, it Is no wonder that the mobile security industry reports seeing year-over-year increases in actual detection rates encountered by Android users. 2015 is certainly going to be the year when mobile device users begin to take device security seriously because the attackers already have been,” says the report.

Android VS. iOS 

The Mobile Threat Report lays to rest the biggest rivalry in the mobile tech world: Android vs iOS. While it’s true that Android has more malware than iOS, it’s because malware follows the market. Android holds 85% of the smartphone market and is wildly more popular outside of the US. PulseSecure’s research proves that the risk factor of Android and iOS have is relatively the same and both need to be secured to the highest extent.

The Enterprise Threat

The report also focuses on the different kinds of malware and which types are most common in the enterprise environment.

Enterprise networks, despite their hardened perimeters, often “lack the necessary controls” to handle the BYOD push coming from employees. PC and mobile, says PulseSecure. “Malware developers know this paradigm exists and they are actively attempting to leverage the inherent weakness of mobile devices accessing corporate resources and intellectual property.”

Malware developers are very aware of the growing popularity BYOD and know that people tend to be lazy about updating and protecting their personal devices. To malicious devlopers, BYOD is a soft target—the foot in the door  that they need to attack the enterprise and steal information.

PulseSecure predicts that 2015 will be the year that the users join the IT department in taking mobile security threats seriously due to increased understanding of the serious malware presents to the enterprise now that it has become much more prominent.

In 2015, mobile security is a necessity. With all of this malware being developed for every kind of device, employees need to be responsible for their devices and need to be aware of the kind of malware that could potentially affect their devices and where it comes from.

“2015 is shaping up to include some of the best innovation the mobile industry has ever experienced. There will be new discoveries, new technologies, and existing giants in the vendor space will test the limits to increase productivity while ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data,” says PulseSecure.

The PulseSecure Mobile Threat Report breaks down the major threats that enterprises have faced in mobile security and threats that they will face in the future. Along with the results of major studies they have conducted, PulseSecure lets you know exactly what to be aware of and how to defend against it.

One Response to “Weaknesses of mobiles and their apps”

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