Recent reports indicate that the majority of Android devices currently in use allow malware-spreading apps to infect and hijack data. Malicious third parties have taken advantage of these vulnerabilities by exploiting the market and posting malicious apps.

According to Google resources, apps must be digitally signed with a certificate. However, this certificate does not have to be issued by a certification authority (CA). Forristal further elaborates that hard-coded certificates from selected developers are allowed special Android OS privileges. Certificates issued by these developers are not checked in a secure manner, therefore malicious users can impersonate the developers and get the same Android OS privileges.

RiskIQ found that malicious apps available on the Google Play store have grown by 388% between 2011 and 2013. With the explosive growth of mobile apps attracting this criminal element to the market, it is inevitable that compromised mobile devices will access your corporate data and networks.

Mobile application security: Current solutions available

Antivirus software similar to that found on desktop PCs has now found its way to mobile devices. Although similar at face value, the software operates in a completely different way.

One solution shortlists applications based on the permissions being requested by apps within the Android OS. Although useful, not every application requiring permissions is malicious, so many a time this method results in core applications being blocked, while many truly harmful apps are not even detected.

Alternatively, Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions assist with software delivery and the ability to wipe mobile apps and data from a device remotely. These solutions typically also provide statistical information about which applications are installed on which devices, including details such as the date installed and package name.

Mobile application security: How 2X MDM allows you to tackle these issues

2X Mobile Device Management (MDM) leverages both MAM and MDM characteristics to provide administrators with the ability to enforce application control policies and monitor applications retained on devices. If a security breach is not prevented altogether, applications installed on the devices can be monitored, and further action on application control violations taken where necessary.

2X MDM allows administrators to detect and prevent malware by configuring application control policies to either weed out many of the currently known threats, or define the applications that are allowed on connected devices.

Configurable application whitelists specify which apps may be installed while application blacklists specify which apps should not be.

Additionally, 2X MDM allows you to review a list of the applications installed on all connected devices from a central app pool, to monitor for breaches and even request that applications are removed.

Furthermore, if application control policies are not respected, both you and the device user will be notified. This method of malware detection and prevention allows administrators to always be informed of suspicious activity, and if set policies are breached, can instantly secure the device and protect corporate data.

References

Mobile application security: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2459240/android-vulnerability-allows-malware-to-compromise-most-devices-and-apps.html#tk.fb_pc

Mobile application security: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2099421/report-malwareinfected-android-apps-spike-in-the-google-play-store.html

Mobile application security: http://developer.android.com/tools/publishing/app-signing.html#signing

Mobile application security: http://www.riskiq.com/company/press-releases/riskiq-reports-malicious-mobile-apps-google-play-have-spiked-nearly-400

Mobile application security: https://www.webroot.com/shared/pdf/Android-Malware-Exposed.pdf

Mobile application security: http://bgr.com/2014/06/18/google-play-store-android-malware-app/

Mobile application security: http://www.androidauthority.com/best-antivirus-android-apps-269696/

Mobile application security: http://searchconsumerization.techtarget.com/definition/mobile-application-management

Mobile application security: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/mobile-application-manager-MAM

Mobile application security: https://bluebox.com/technical/android-fake-id-vulnerability/



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