Malware Plagues Android More Than Ever

By | Sep 13, 2012

There's unsettling news for small and midsize business that have implemented Android applications.

According to a recent report by antivirus company McAfee, Android malware is on the rise. The report, featured recently in Techvibes, says that there were 1.5 million more incidents in the second quarter of this year than the first and that the rapid growth in harmful mobile software comes as a result of new threats, including Twitter botnets and "ransomware."

Android is the choice for many small and midsize business and that preference is only rising. According to a recent survey by Techaisle, nearly 60 percent of small and midsize businesses that use smartphones have Android-based smartphones. The survey also found that on average, a small company has three Android-based smartphones and a midsize business has 26 Android-based smartphones. Furthermore, these small and midsize businesses naturally are becoming used to Android apps and, according to the survey, will want the same Android capabilities available in Ultrabooks. The findings go on to note that a similar desire does not exist for iPhone apps because of its closed environment.

The fact is Android's open-source origins make it flexible, customizable, and adaptable for mobile device manufacturers as opposed to more closed-system mobile operating systems. However, this flexibility also makes security a challenge as one patch won't work for all versions of Android OS and might not work on every Android device. For small and midsize businesses that follow a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, this is a big vulnerability to handle.

Competing operating platforms like iOS and BlackBerry aren't immune to malicious software, but, in the report, McAfee affirms that "practically all new mobile malware is directed at the Android platform." Specifically, MacAfee points out that nearly 3 million malicious URLs are detected every month with 10,000 malicious domains being created every day.

Malicious software impacts small and midsize business greatly by affecting daily operations and causing critical infrastructure facilities. Attacks that in the past have usually just hit PCs are now hitting mobile devices that are key to many small and midsize business operations.

Small and midsize businesses turn to Android for the simplicity of software that turns a phone or tablet into a business tool. Work-related apps like Dropbox, Skype, TweetDeck, and Evernote are important to everyday operations. Google products like Gmail, Talk, and Maps come conveniently pre-installed on Android devices as well. However, the challenge to security remains. Based on McAfee's recent findings, small and midsize business must be on the defense. They must implement the right practices to prevent disasters they can't afford.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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