Lookout Predicts Mobile Threats for 2013 and Ways to Safeguard Against Them

December 14, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Lookout, a top company dabbing in mobile security, has disclosed their 2013 Mobile Threat Predictions. They have outlined in their report the different types of malware and web-based threats that people and businesses may face in the coming year.

The company has formulated their predictions based on Lookout’s Mobile Threat Network, which also includes threat data collected from more than one million apps and millions of devices globally. The predictions take down certain areas of concern, with changes in landscape and pointers on how to keep users and their sensitive data safe on their mobile devices.

According to Lookout, the fastest way to monetize would be toll fraud and spamming would be prevalent to harvest personal data. The company says businesses would struggle with the right level of control over BYOD devices.

Lookout’s Mobile Threat Predictions display that from the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2013, at least 18 million Android users globally will be affected with mobile malware. Moreover, the chance of a new lookout user encountering a mobile threat, on an average, is .84 percent from June to October 2013, although the users in US had a lower percentage of .40 percent in 2012.

The most common type of web-based mobile threats is phishing links or malicious websites. These affect a major share of smartphone users, and in 2012 nearly four in ten people have encountered a web threat.

Lookout’s 2013 predictions state an increase in toll fraud. This year, 72 percent of Lookout’s malware was classified as toll fraud, and the company expects this class of premium SMS fraud to dominate in 2013.

SMS-based spam is predicted to grow the following year. Lookout’s observations record a number of malicious applications collecting contact information from infected devices.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trends continue among corporate companies, and this means businesses would need to bring in more security policies. Lookout says “that finding the right balance between protection and employee empowerment will be the business mobile threat challenge of 2013”.

The company also outlined some points on how individuals and businesses can stay safe in 2013. The first tip they say is to regularly check the phone bill for suspicious charges.

Secondly, when browsing on mobile devices, double-check the URLs, especially if the website asks for login and contact information. Updating your mobile devices and the applications you use can also safeguard you from malicious threats.

Businesses can shield from mobile threats by raising employee awareness and protecting employees’ phones. Also keeping employees’ mobile devices updated at all times ensure that there is no impending malware threat.

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