Do you need to secure your smart phone?

By: John McGarvey

Date: 4 November 2013

Do you need to secure your smart phone?/criminal and smart phone: mobile security{{}}If you own a smart phone, you’re carrying a powerful computer around in your pocket. And, like all computers, it’s a potential target for malware, online criminals and hackers.

Never given your smart phone security more than a passing thought? You’re not alone. Technology analysis firm Juniper Research has found more than 80% of company and personal smart phones will remain unprotected at the end of 2013.

Mobile risks are increasing

The report — Mobile security: BYOD, mCommerce, consumer and enterprise —found that security risks are on the rise due to an explosion of mobile malware over the last two years.

Cyber criminals are switching focus, targeting PCs less and mobile platforms more. These findings support Trend Micro data showing that that there are already more than a million different pieces of malware and high-risk apps for Android devices alone.

We’re more aware of mobile security

It’s not all doom and gloom though. The report identified that although adoption rates remain low, awareness that mobile security products exist is growing. So, if more of us know that there are tools to protect our smart phones, why aren’t we using them?

Well, perhaps the risks are less obvious than on our desktop computers. After all, have you, or anyone you know, been affected by malware on your smart phone? The dangers are growing, but aren’t yet high-profile enough to encourage mass adoption.

BYOD and security

The report claims that the low level of adoption of security software can be attributed to a number of factors, including the relatively low awareness about attacks on mobile devices and a widespread perception that the price of security products is excessive.

However, with BYOD (bring your own device) — where employees use their own mobile devices for work — becoming more common, it’s important that your business starts thinking about mobile security.

Using mobile security software may be a start, but really you need to step back, taking a broader look at how you use mobile devices and where the risks lie. Then you can create a mobile security plan to keep your data, your employees and your business safe.

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