For years, Apple Mac users would say they didn’t need anti-virus protection on their computers because they “couldn’t get a virus.” Just last year, this changed and Apple tweaked their language from “doesn’t get PC viruses” to “it’s built to be safe.”
This may seem absurd, that people thought they were above a malicious act happening on their piece of technology, but this is exactly what most of the world is doing on their mobile phones.
The Washington Post recently brought up “fragmentation” as a massive security risk for Android users. In short, the Android OS can take months to push a “fix” to all mobile devices due to a system of blame transference and software tailoring through manufacturers, then wireless carriers, and finally reaching the individual consumer. A recent fix for “smishing,” a security flaw that put users at risk through phony text messages, is estimated to be on only 1.4% of more than 500 million Android devices worldwide (Google). With that said, CrowdStrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch recommends that users’ risk will be reduced if they continue to get apps through Google’s store.
It doesn’t need to be an uphill battle to protect these mobile devices – we should be exercising the same security precautions we use for laptops and other technology. With BYOD, a personal mistake could lead to a corporate disaster. This trend is unlikely to stop but there is an easy fix: think before you click and network and system administrators need to prepare for those who don’t.