February 10, 2014
Since last year, studies show that the number of mobile malware infections has risen by 20 percent.
Devices with Google’s OS accounted for 60 percent of the infections (typically in the form of trojanized applications downloaded from third-party app stores, Google Play Store, or by phishing scams).* But the main victims were Android devices.
In fact, according to Trend Micro, more than 1 million malware threats targeted Android devices during the first nine months of 2013, up from 175,000 the previous year in 2012.†
However, the biggest takeaway is that most of these security breaches happened mainly on 4G LTE devices, the newest and most promising mobile technology for the future.
While fast speeds and easy access to mobile Internet make LTE the next generation mobile technology, LTE devices are also more susceptible to security threats than their 3G counterparts. As an all IP network, LTE unfortunately adopts the vulnerabilities of both a fixed and mobile network… Plus, LTE users tend to download more data and spend more time on the mobile web as carriers continue to roll out LTE networks.*
Ideally, keeping data, network and transactions secure is management’s number one priority. But as businesses try to keep up with the quick changes in the mobile market, maintaining overall mobile management and security gets tougher and tougher.
Tools that handle mobile security functions (e.g. wipe a lost/stolen device, filter web traffic, scan for viruses and malware, enforce network policies about passwords and app downloads) are available as either an on-premises or a cloud-based service, from $6 to $10 per device.
Plus, in an increasingly BYOD-friendly business environment, users have the ability to separate personal and professional data on devices with today’s mobile security products. In the event that an employee leaves the company, for example, this makes it easy for IT professionals to only wipe company information.
In the future, experts predict increased availability of single consolidated, centralized systems for mobile and desktop platform/app security.‡
* LTE Brings More Malware, Light Reading, UBM Tech.
† 3Q Security Roundup: The Invisible Web, 1 Million Mobile Malware Highlight Quarter, TrendLabs Blog, Trend Micro.
‡ “Mobile Assurance” by Carolyn Duffy Marsan. Biztech Magazine. Winter 2014 issue, page 34-35.