Companies can’t avoid mobile malware attacks

A staggering 97% of organisations faced mobile threats that employed multiple attack vectors last year. Almost a half (46%) had at least one employee download a malicious mobile application.

These are the top findings of Check Point’s 2021 Mobile Security Report

The report examines the latest threats targeting enterprise mobile devices and gives an overview of the major trends in mobile malware, device vulnerabilities, and in nation-state cyber attacks.

A widening attack surface

For the 97% who were hit by mobile malware, 93% of the attacks originated in a device network attempting to trick users into installing a malicious payload via infected Web sites or URLs, or to steal users’ credentials.

Moreover, Check Point research highlighted that at least 40% of the world’s mobile devices are inherently vulnerable to cyber attacks due to flaws in their chipsets, and need urgent patching.

The report also revealed a rise in mobile malware, with a 15% increase in banking Trojan activity, where users’ mobile banking credentials are at risk of being stolen. 

Bad actors have been spreading mobile malware, including mobile remote access Trojans, banking Trojans, and premium diallers, often hiding the malware in apps that claim to offer COVID-19 related information.

In addition, advanced persistent threat (APT) groups were found to be targeting mobile devices. 

“Individuals’ mobiles are a very attractive target for various APT groups, such as Iran’s Rampant Kitten, which has conducted elaborate and sophisticated targeted attacks to spy on users and steal sensitive data,” the company said.

At least 40% of the world’s mobile devices are inherently vulnerable to cyber attacks due to flaws in their chipsets.

Check Point

Neatsun Ziv, VP of threat prevention at Check Point Software, warns that there are even more complex threats coming our way.

“Cyber criminals are continuing to evolve and adapt their techniques to exploit our growing reliance on mobiles. Enterprises need to adopt mobile security solutions which seamlessly protect devices from today’s advanced cyber threats, and users should be careful to use only apps from official app stores to minimise their risk.”

Check Point’s 2021 Mobile Security Report is based on data that was collected from 1 January 2020 through 31 December 2020, from 1 800 organisations that use Check Point Harmony Mobile, the company’s mobile threat defence solution. It also draws on data from Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence which delivers threat data and attack trends from a global network of threat sensors, from Check Point Research investigations over the last 12 months, and on recent survey reports from external organisations.

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