Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) specifically is about the enterprise allowing anyone to attach any kind of device to corporate email or even to the corporate VPN to access critical files. While the trend of CIO circles is to be as open as possible to all employees, it is a security concern for Menlo Technical.
Reports continue to be released concerning Android devices being exploited by apps that have bad intentions. While Android devices them selves are not all bad, the users are careless about allowing apps to be installed which overtly or secretly try to gain access to all the information on the device. Devices include competitive tablets to the iPad (like the Motorola Xoom), every type of Android phone, iPhones, Blackberry devices, etc. Because these devices all have different levels of software on them and different apps, a business security policy should be in place to limit the devices to those that have modern software and can be limited to what the business IT division will allow. This is both an HR policy adjustment and an overall business mobile device policy change.
Carl Weinschenk of ITBusinessEdge recently posted an interview “Malware Soars, Especially on Android” Juniper’s Chief Mobile Security Evangelist, Dan Hoffman regarding their annual research paper that shows a steady increase in Android devices getting infected with various types of Malware infections.
Weinschenk: What is happening in the malware space?
Hoffman: When you download an application — whether it is a game or anything else — there is a lot more going on than you see. There are several areas of danger. Spyware can take personal information and send it to a third party. Also, applications can make calls to premium numbers, such as 900 numbers, and the user would have no idea what is taking place. We’ve also seen growth of fake installers. If I write an application, I may not charge money for it. The money would be from the advertisements. A fake installer would take that application and post it in another application store and charge for it. There is huge growth in that type of attack.
Weinschenk: What else was covered in the report?
Hoffman: A big part of discussion around malware … but we also say that enterprises need to look at other threats, such as devices that are lost. Survey results on behavior when a device is lost include the fact that about 16 percent would use software to locate the device, 6.8 percent would use software that locks the device and .9 percent would use wipe commands.
Mike Lennon of Security Week also wrote an informative article “Android Malware Increased 3,325 Percent in Seven Months, Says Juniper Networks” discussing another report from Juniper detailing more findings gathered from sources like their network devices. Juniper is another vendor that has hand’s on knowledge of incoming threats.
an interesting graphic from this second report:
They have collected a lot of useful real information concerning these threats within real corporate environments.
An interesting quote from the above linked article:
In January 2012, Denis Maslennikov, a mobile security expert from Kaspersky Lab, discovered what he said was the first IRC bot for Android. In this case, the malicious Android application had disguised itself as “MADDEN NFL 12”, a mobile version of the popular NFL football video game, but instead is mobile malware is packaged with a root exploit and an SMS Trojan, working in tandem and providing the attacker with full access to an infected Android device.
There has been a lot of heated exchange between Google and the Security Device world as to whether it is the fault of the Android platform or simply the end user. While both sides have interesting points the most important thing in this discussion is 1) Are these real concerns? 2) How can they be defended against in the enterprise?
Groups like Palo Alto Networks, Juniper, Cisco, Netgear and Mobile Iron are trying to help IT departments with such threats through unique firewalls and unified threat management device designs. Contact Menlo Technical today for an evaluation of how your business can protect itself against these threats and allow your mobile workforce to leverage new mobile devices like the iPad.