Webroot warns of mobile device threats

Mobile phone

The Webroot Mobile Threat Report for January 2014, which will be presented at Infosec, suggests that threats are growing as employees continue to use their own devices for work purposes.

It claims an increasing problem lies in introducing the threats into the workplace leaving company data, and the networks these devices access, at risk.

Webroot categorises mobile apps into six risk-based groups; malicious, unwanted, suspicious, moderate, benign, and trustworthy. By understanding the risk of installing a new app, vendors that offer mobile device management and corporations who support BYOD can set user policies to stay secure, such as only allowing benign or trustworthy apps, or defining different levels of allowed risk based on groups or roles.

Webroot states the platform for Android may pose a greater security threat than the platform for iOS with 42 percent of applications analysed for Android between 2011 and 2013 classified as malicious, unwanted, or suspicious. Over the course of 2013, the majority of potentially dangerous apps were primarily represented by: SMS malware, ad-SDK PUAs and malware using obfuscation.

Webroot estimates an average smartphone user downloads over 100 applications for a variety of different services. These apps can be carriers for malicious attacks, rendering users unknowing participants in their own vulnerabilities. Gaming applications and entertainment updates are responsible for the highest rates of infection at 29.3 percent, compared to books, news apps or magazines, which represented less than one percent of the total analysis. Although the data suggests that game related apps are the common source of mobile device infection, no category was entirely risk free.

Webroot: Stand: D80


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