24 May 2011

Antivirus Software Wards Off Ferocious Malware Attacks

For many people, their smartphone has become an extra appendage. If one of your body parts was under attack, wouldn’t you fight back? Imagine that malware is like a pit bull waiting around the corner to make its move. Are you prepared to protect yourself? Unless you are equipped with an antivirus program, the answer is no. And, believe it or not, you would be as vulnerable as most other Americans.

A recent study from Juniper Networks called "Malicious Mobile Threats Report 2010/2011" focuses on malware trends and the ways consumers combat those attacks. The results show what industry experts have been suspecting for the last 18 months: Android malware is up. Way up. With malicious software attacks at an all-time high, you would think that smartphone users would take the necessary steps to stay protected, right? Wrong.

In April, the results of a YouGov study on mobile security showed that only six percent of users had installed an antivirus program. Perhaps smartphone users simply don't realize that carrying the Internet in the palm of their hand is a security threat? Wrong again. According to the results of the study, over one third of respondents were aware their mobile devices pose a threat. Now the question is why isn't everyone protecting themselves with antivirus software?

Maybe smartphone users are waiting for app stores to respond after attacks are detected. Juniper's Dan Hoffman explains that "removing applications identified as malicious after they have been installed by thousands of users is insufficient as a means to control malware proliferation." In short, this approach is a "too little, too late" scenario. When it comes to Internet security, passivity is completely ineffective.

It’s time for smartphone users to turn knowledge into action by protecting their mobile devices with an antivirus program. Most people use these tools on their desktop or laptop computers, so why do they neglect their smartphones? As they become more sophisticated, mobile phones have the same vulnerabilities as PCs which means they need an equally protective antivirus solution.