Criminals looking to profit from corporate resources and information keep going after mobile devices, two new reports confirm.
More specifically, the reports look at the security of third-party mobile applications and the effectiveness of carrier-based protection. The picture that emerges is one of risk that varies across industries but is never truly low, as well as the importance of trying to stop the actions of malicious apps as high in the network chain as possible.
In its study of third-party app risk, BitSight researchers found that vulnerable apps are common across all industries, with the vulnerabilities including data leakage, privilege abuse, unencrypted personally identifiable information, and credential theft. The differences are in the proportion of vulnerabilities that make up the total picture of each industry.
For example, BitSight’s research shows that finance had the highest rate (34%) of broken SSL configurations, while 32% of business services and education apps failed at encrypting user data. But in no industry is there a single, simple vulnerability. As Immunity researcher Lurene Grenier said at the recent Talos Threat Summit, “There are probably 10 full iPhone [exploit] chains at any given time. And that’s the most secure calling platform.”
In a speech at Interop ITX in May, Mike Murray, vice president of security intelligence at Lookout, pointed out why criminals are so interested in mobile malware. “The phone is no longer a phone. It’s an electronic device that has access to every part of our digital lives,” he said. “Unfortunately, we still think of it and protect it like it’s a Motorola flip-phone.”
A second report, Telco Security Trends, Q2 2018, conducted by Allot, looks at malware traffic from four communications service providers (CSPs) across Europe and Israel. It found that the CSPs were stopping an average of two pieces of malware per device per day.