Mobile world – mobile threats

Device management in a mobile world.

Author: Eija Paajanen
Date: 19.03.2015
Read Time: 3 Minutes

Remember when the world was a whole lot less complicated? Not so long ago, online security simply meant securing your fixed Internet connection and your PC; at home or at the office, which remained two separate entities.

There is no going back to ‘the good old days’. Today, it is a whole new game with no solid line between work and leisure and with smart mobile devices even taking the place of computers. Open Wi-Fi-connections are frequently used for business as well. Have you ever thought about how secure they are? Or how to protect your data and online privacy while using them?

The amount of mobile malware is growing faster than ever. And even though app stores are implementing new security measures, malware writers are just as quickly coming up with new ideas.

Looking back at the short history of mobile malware, we have seen it become sophisticated very quickly – much more quickly than PC malware did. Mobile malware most commonly takes the form of a Trojan. A Trojan is malware that’s disguised as a normal app but actually aims to do something malicious – for example, steal your personal data to make profit with it. Currently, over 80% of mobile malware is profit-motivated. Unfortunately, it behaves so secretly that you do not necessarily notice it until it is too late. Sure, this problem is worst on the Android platform as 97% of all new mobile malware in 2013 was for Android.

profit_motivated
Source: F-Secure Mobile Threat Report Q1/2014

But Apple users cannot just forget all about mobile threats either.

Due to the rather secure ecosystem of Apple, the amount of malware in iOS is still marginal. However, the amount of phishing sites compensates for fewer trojans. And what they are after is your passwords – which could lead to identity theft. The below figures are from last year, +844% growth from Q1 to Q2.

apple_phishing

Source: Dazeinfo

What’s more, Apple attacks seem to be on the loose right now. Apple devices are being hacked across Australia, and the users are receiving ransom demands.

The need for device management
According to the Gartner’s Top 10 Tech Trends 2014, diversification of mobile devices is one of the biggest trends for 2014.

Together with consumerisation, diversification is affecting companies through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Even though BYOD is still seen as an approach used by medium-sized businesses to large corporates, most micro-SMBs have used BYOD for ages, for a very practical reason: they cannot afford not to.

BYOD is a very attractive approach for a company from a cost savings perspective, but introduces severe security risks. Device management brings security and manageability to mobile devices.

Device management gives the IT manager transparency to the device fleet by providing detailed information, from device-specific information to application status information. This information can be used to qualify the current mobile fleet. For example, the IT manager can see which devices have an old OS and need to be updated. This helps avoid OS-specific vulnerabilities like Android 4.1.1 with Heartbleed.

How do we address this?
The Device Management feature in F-Secure’s Protection Service for Business enhances mobile client provisioning and management, and improves mobile device fleet transparency.

Typically, device management solutions are rather expensive and therefore targeted to fairly large enterprises. Feature wise, they are usually overkill for the average SMB company and financially out of their reach. However, with F-Secure’s solution, the SMB can get a competitively priced end-to-end managed service that will allow them visibility, security and manageability for all their employee devices.

 

 


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