Providing its shareholders give it the all-clear, the deal will give AVG’s mobile ambitions a big boost through the partnerships Location Labs has with major carriers.
The purchase will give BlackBerry a leg up in its quest to pitch to government agencies and enterprises who want secure communications.
In his Weekly Update, Colin Gibbs, the Gigaom Research curator for mobile, is ‘examining the battle for mobile enterprise app developers’. Along with considering Google’s moves to improve security with its Android L release in order to enhance its lead in enterprise mobile operating systems, Colin takes a look at the challenging life of mobile app developers–and how much better their efforts tend to be rewarded when they concentrate on building apps for the enterprise.
The Boeing Black is a security-focused smartphone that can erase itself if it falls into the wrong hands.
Researchers points to a new security flaw in iOS 7 that could allow certain apps to spy on your keystrokes.
Most businesses recognize that mobile computing, particularly with the prevalence of BYOD, is a major security threat, as detailed in the recent Gigaom Research report, Managing mobile risk: threat management and security. Typical first security steps include the use of passcodes and of applications that track, lock, and wipe devices as required.
Prior infection predicts future infection
But responsible end user behavior is also critical for mobile security, as highlighted in a new study by the mobile security firm Lookout. Based on analysis of security threats detected on the more than 50 million mobile devices covered by its service in calendar year 2013, Lookout determined:
- Having a malware trojan on your phone means you’re seven times more likely to download another app with a trojan.
- Your risk of downloading a malware trojan triples if you have already downloaded a root enabler.
- If you’ve encountered adware once, you’re twice as likely to download an app riddled with adware a second time.
- A device with chargeware more than doubles your risk of encountering a malware trojan in a different app you download.
What does this mean?
In short, it is risky behavior such as downloading untrusted apps, going to a site with driveby downloading, or carelessly agreeing to terms for future ‘chargeware’ billing via premium SMS (prevalent with mobile porn) that leads to most infections. And, users who infect their device by engaging in that behavior once are likely to repeat the behavior and infect their devices again.
As Jeremy Linden, security product manager for Lookout, points out, infection of a BYOD mobile device is a key way that increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals can penetrate a corporate firewall and otherwise safe systems. So catching the threats and changing employee behavior are critical to enterprise mobile security.
What to do about it
Some commonsense steps to countering this behavioral vulnerability include the following:
- Make sure all employees are educated and current on the frequency and types of mobile threats that they may encounter and what good practices are (e.g., visiting only trusted app stores) to minimize their vulnerability.
- Be sure that your mobile security software can centrally identify and pinpoint specific threats and infections that individual employees encounter on their devices.
- Make sure those employees who have suffered an infection once are especially further trained to assure they modify their behavior toward more safe practices.
Some good news, too
There was some good news in the Lookout report as well. Since Google, especially, from 3Q13, has started to crack down on adware, the frequency of adware infection has started to decline. Adware is still the most prevalent issue—and it includes unwanted data leakage as well as unwanted ad display—but the downward trend suggests that industry action and consensus can contribute to curbing threats as well.
A spike in spam is not related to last month’s massive hack, says Snapchat. But here’s a quick tip to avoid it either way.
Google has expanded its Patch Reward program to pay users that discover security holes in Android.
Lookout’s mobile threat-protection app has now landed on the Android phones of three of the four major U.S. carriers.
The $55 million funding round will help Lookout expand beyond the consumer market and into enterprise mobile security.