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Symantec reported that in 2012, Android was an easier target than iOS. Android devices were more easily infected by malware and easier to exploit that iOS devices. But overall, iOS still had more security vulnerabilities. The Symantec Mobile Threat Report released in April explained that the key factor is the number of threats developed, not the vulnerabilities themselves.
Malware Threat Increase
Security experts predict that malware developers will continue to attack Androids more than they attempt to attack iOS. Android is still a much more open system with wide and large distribution channels. It also has a large market share. These major factors make it much more vulnerable to malware attacks, particularly the availability of unverified applications that are so easy to find and download. 387 vulnerabilities in iOS and 13 in Android were detected in 2012. Ironically, there was only one threat created to target iOS versus Android having the most threats of any mobile OS. But Symantec did comment that security vulnerabilities may begin to affect the number of malware threats in the coming months.
In general, mobile malware has proliferated in the past couple of years. The threats detected in 2012 alone already make up almost 60% of the total number mobile malware threats on record. And over 30% of the threats found that year were created for the purpose of intercepting users’ contact information for use in identity and theft scams.
VPN for iPad and Android to Combat Threats
A growing number of small and medium sized businesses picking up BYOD practices. They were already at great risk for attacks because of the much simpler security measures they commonly use. But now with SME workers going mobile, the mobile threat makes them much more vulnerable. Symantec pinpointed businesses with under 2500 employees as those most at risk, citing that over half of the attacks in 2012 were aimed at them.
Most businesses allow their employees to use personal devices for work. The most used devices are iPads and Android tabs and phones. iPhones and other mobile devices are also used though less often. Having employees use a personal VPN for iPad and Android devices will greatly reduce instances of malware infection that pose a threat to businesses in the form of consumer data theft and database hacks aimed at stealing company secrets. Consumer data is what most attacks aim to steal because of their potential for use in identity theft and financial theft, and also to scrape these people’s contacts to launch further scams.
SMEs are not really that hard to attack, but personal devices are even easier to get into. Personal devices are often used at unsecured WiFi hotspots and are less likely than desktops to have adequate firewalls and anitivirus protection. When a personal device is attacked, then the device is used to access work files, the infection can transfer to office servers and databases.
Individuals will benefit much from the use of a VPN for iPad and Android devices. The tool will secure all their online activities. Employees will then be able to secure all their personal online activities while protecting their office networks from intrusion. Security experts hope that this will be a good motivation for employees and businesses to agree to use a personal VPN for iPad and Androids that are used for work. Prevention is always better than cure, but more so when it comes to infected systems. It is very difficult to detect and remove the latest threats. Malware infections can get through and go undetected even with strong firewalls and antivirus software. They are designed to get in and work quietly to extend their lifespans. Some malware is even designed to adapt and grow, spreading more easily and stealthily into other systems. Using a VPN for iPad and Android BYOD is one of the best moves that SMEs can make to better secure their networks and protect valuable consumer data.