Mobile devices in danger of attack

Mobile malware

Less than one in 20 smartphones and tablets run security software protecting them from the growing threat of malware and viruses.

This was the conclusion of a report from Juniper Research released today, which claimed just four per cent of mobile devices were safe from the threats, despite the "steady increase" of attacks on portable platforms.

Third party software can protect smartphones and tablets, not just from malware and viruses coming over the networks, but also if the devices are lost or stolen, with a number of applications wiping data from a distance.

Despite the shocking finding, Juniper Research also found a silver lining. It claimed the increasing threat landscape will encourage more users to invest in security especially in the enterprise space and with 96 per cent needing the software, there is a big market waiting to be taken advantage of.

"The increasing extent to which personal and corporate data is stored on mobile devices and the recognition of the need to protect it will create a $3.6 billion (2.21 billion) opportunity for mobile security software providers by 2016," it claimed.

Enterprise will be responsible for most of the sum, according to Juniper Research, which claimed 69 per cent of sales revenues will come from business over the next five years.

"We believe that the market for mobile security products will go mainstream by late 2013 as the vulnerability of data centric mobile devices becomes more widely appreciated both in the business and consumer sectors," said the author of the report, Nitin Bhas.

"High-profile security alerts are likely to heighten the public's awareness of this growing issue."

The report also claimed there would be 277 million mobile devices with software protection installed by the end of 2016, but the majority would be on tablets rather than smartphones.

"Juniper believes that as more tablets are brought into the enterprise over the forecast period, the proportion of tablets featuring security products will also increase and will overtake the protected smartphone user levels," the research firm concluded.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.