Mobile security vendor: 1% of Android devices will be attacked by malware in 2013

By the end of 2013, roughly 1% of all Android smartphone users will be the victim of a malware infection, according to a new mobile security report. 

Between October 2012 and the end of 2013, 18.4 million Android devices will be infected with malware, estimates mobile security vendor Lookout in its 2013 Mobile Threat Predictions report.

When factoring in the expected increase in the number of Android devices in use worldwide, that equates to about 1% of all Android users, according to The Next Web.

The top mobile security threat will continue to be toll fraud, in which criminals use malware to force phones to send text messages to premium rate numbers.

Protecting Android devices will also become more difficult, as malware frequently finds its way into the official Google Play app store. In fact, as many as 25% of all apps in the Google Play store could present some kind of mobile security threat, says security vendor Bit9.

How IT can protect mobile security

IT pros in organizations that issue Android smartphones or tablets to users or that allow users to bring in those devices as part of a BYOD program will need to take steps to make sure that people in their businesses aren’t part of that 1%.

Here are some mobile security steps experts recommend:

  1. Segregate the network in such a way that Android mobile devices are isolated from critical resources. That way, if malicious code does manage to get through your defenses, you can contain it and limit the damage it causes.
  2. Require all mobile devices used to access company networks and data to run mobile anti-virus software.
  3. Blacklist certain mobile apps that could pose a mobile security risk — or, if greater security is needed, use a whitelist so only pre-approved apps can be installed.
  4. Write a BYOD policy describing how employees may and may not use the personal devices they bring into work — and have users sign off on the rules.

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