Android Security Roundup: Ransomware Tops Lists of 2015 Mobile Threats

Security

Android SecuredTwo of the blog items featured in Android Secured last week stand out for different reasons.

One is about a survey from Gemalto showing that 92% of IT departments globally still restrict workers from using their mobile devices to access corporate applications and data. (Majority of IT Departments Still Restrict Mobile Access to Corporate Apps & Services). Considering all the hype around BYOD and the mobile revolution in general, one would have expected many more businesses to be allowing such access. That so many aren’t suggests an unfortunate and incomplete understanding of mobile threats and the numerous options that are available these days to mitigate them. Clearly, too many businesses are allowing concerns over security to prevent them from taking advantage of the productivity and efficiency benefits enabled by mobile technologies.

The other blog item, titled Mobile Security: What The Numbers Really Reveal, is based on a survey from Skycure that somewhat dramatically warns about mobile security threats lurking “around every corner.” According to the firm, its research showed that upwards of 40% of smartphones and tablets are vulnerable to compromise, with one in three Androids being susceptible to previously disclosed vulnerabilities. Similar numbers have been reported in almost every single survey on mobile security.

Less reported are the other numbers. The same Skycure survey for instance, showed that only about two in 100 mobile devices are actually already compromised, while barely three percent of Android devices are infected with medium to severe flaws. Certainly the numbers are worrisome depending on whether you are a glass half-empty or glass half-full kind of person. But clearly they are a lot less dramatic than the headlines would suggest. Enterprises still have time to address mobile security before it really becomes a major problem.

Here’s a look at some of the other stories in Android Secured from last week:

RansomwareRansomware Tops List of Mobile Threats For 2015

Ransomware has apparently emerged as a major threat on mobile devices. Blue Coat reviewed the mobile security landscape in 2015 and found signs that cyber crooks have begun targeting smartphones and tablets with ransomware. Some of the mobile ransomware that Blue Coat discovered were fairly low risk but others were more dangerous. According to the vendor, mobile ransomware tools have begun incorporating slick new cryptographic capabilities designed to encrypt data, images and videos on mobile devices.

Goldman Sachs Spins Out Internal Mobile Application Management App to New Venture

Financial services giant Goldman Sachs has sold an enterprise mobility management suite that it developed for internal use to cloud service provider Synchronoss Technologies in exchange for a share in a joint venture set up by the two companies. The new venture’s introductory products include Lagoon, a mobile application management technology, and Orbit, a suite of secure mobile productivity and document management tools. Goldman Sachs developed both products to facilitate the delivery and enablement of BYOD applications for its internal users.

Mobile Biometric Authentication: Moving From Nice-To-Have To Must-Have

Research firm Biometrics Research Group Inc. (BRGI) expects the growing consumer adoption of mobile banking and payment services to drive demand for biometric authentication in a big way over the next few years. BRGI expects that demand for biometrics in apps like authentication and device lock and unlock will propel the market to $9 billion over the next three years and an impressive $45 billion by 2020.

Learn how to take the pain out of securing business data on your employees’ Android devices. Join Google and BlackBerry at a free, half-day seminar, Bring Android to Work with BlackBerry Software, hosted at Google offices in Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC and New York City.

About Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is a freelance journalist and technology content writing specialist with 20+ years of award-winning experience in IT trade journalism. He is a former Senior Editor at Computerworld Inc.and is a frequent contributor to Christian Science Monitor Passcode, Computerworld, Dark Reading, eWEEK and other publications. Vijayan is the author of BlackBerry's "The Definitive Guide to Mobile Security: Strategies and Tactics for Business & IT Decisionmakers" e-book on mobile security and an author of security white papers for the SANS Institute.

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