Hackers have declared war on Android devices. This is evident with the increasing number of attacks seen in the last month, most recently with the fake versions of the Instagram Android app, which sends background SMS messages to premium rate services, earning its creators revenue. According to Juniper Networks, Android malware samples increased 472 percent in the period between July and November last year.
“Android seems to have attracted the most attention from malicious code writers due to its popularity, but all platforms are potentially at risk,” explains Bruce Goodwill, Sales Director – EMEA, LATAM and Australia at AVG. “And it’s not just smartphones, but tablets that are increasingly being targeted.”
According to Forrester Research, tablets will become most users’ primary computing device within the next four years. The research group predicts that 375 million tablets will sell globally in 2016, as they become the “preferred, primary device for millions of people around the world”.
As mobile devices continue to overtake the global personal computer market, hackers and cyber criminals are expanding their operations to ensure they don’t miss out on these potential targets.
“With the increasing ability of smartphones and data-enabled cell phones to store sensitive data and documents, conduct financial transactions, and access corporate networks, both consumers and corporations should be increasingly concerned with the security of their mobile devices.
Identity, authentication, and platform integrity have become critical capabilities for mobile devices. Today’s cell phones implement these capabilities at vendors’ discretion, without a clear industry-wide consensus on the fundamental requirements and best practices. However, a solution like AVG Mobilation, which can locate, wipe and lock your mobile device is the perfect answer to this mobile insecurity,” says Goodwill.
It’s no wonder, then, that IDC is forecasting that global spending on mobile security will leap from $407 million in 2010 to $1.9 billion by 2015.
Goodwill says that perhaps the biggest security threat that mobile users face today is the loss or theft of their phone. As well as its obvious value as a physical device, the phone may contain personal and financial data stored in the handset or in the SIM card. While a stolen SIM can be barred by a mobile network once the theft has been reported, it is much harder to effectively bar the handset from being used with a different SIM.
Also, unless the user has protected his personal and financial data by a PIN (and many users do not), this data could be accessed by any unauthorised party.
“Security for mobile devices continues to evolve, and with a product like AVG Mobilation, businesses and individuals can remotely lock their devices to ensure that even if their mobile device is stolen, no-one can access their information. It also offers backup and restore, remote lock and wipe, GPS tracking and so much more,” Goodwill says. “With security software installed on your smartphone or tablet, you can rest assured that all your valuable information is safe.”