A new report from Pulse Secure shows that 97% of mobile malware is targeted at the Android OS. Why does Android remain so dominant? What can you and your company do to reduce the risk of infection?
The report also shows that the overwhelming majority of Android malware is being developed and distributed by third party app stores in the Middle East and Asia. Another reason these findings skew so heavily towards Android could be how intensely regulated and locked down iOS is, which, beyond being jailbroken, is very difficult to install third party apps on. The colossal user base, open-source nature and ease with which almost anyone can install third-party apps and app stores could also contribute to the majority of malware being Android based. As Mark James, ESET IT security specialist, explains “the Android user has a much bigger opportunity to download aps from unknown or insecure markets it’s bound to have an impact on its security.”
How can you avoid mobile malware?
“If you’re sticking to the official app stores and limiting what you do and do not install then you will be fairly safe,” there are always risks involved and often minimising them as much as possible is the only way forward.
“Always download your apps from the official Google Play Store, if you have to download an APK from an external source make sure you do some research and ensure its safe.”
“Always where possible read the reviews for the app you’re downloading and check the permissions that the app requires; limiting what you download and what is installed on your phone will help to keep you and your device safe.”
It’s also worth mentioning that you have a look through the options once an app is installed: often location tracking and other features that gather your personal information can be disabled.
“Installing security software that can not only scan for malware but manage app permissions is a must, most of these will also provide anti-theft measures to track your device in case it’s lost or stolen.”
Last but certainly not least: “BYOD policies should always limit what you install and where you install it from; this should be the basic requirement in protecting your work environment.”