The Android app market is growing with every business trying to leverage their mobile customer base. But security threats to apps exist especially when hackers try to manipulate private customer data. Today we will be glancing at the existing security protocols, the breaches that have occurred and what security apps are doing to keep us all safe.
Operating systems in mobile devices and their security protocols
Mobile devices have become part of our lives and we cannot fathom a future without them. Although many companies exist in the competition of mobile device hardware e.g. Apple, Samsung, Huawei, etc. but the OS that exists with these mobile phones to run the hardware is owned by only a few companies.
The chart below shows the trend of mobile operating systems in the market, with Android having a 74.4% share of this market. The major operating systems for mobile devices consist of these two, while others do exist but have a very low market share.
Being used in all high end and low end devices, Android has developed itself to become the go-to operating system for this niche. With such a huge app market and open source applications, patches and even custom Android Operating Systems available on the market, a huge security threat is present for all its users. That’s why it is also recommended to use security apps or antiviruses for these devices, such tools can be found here to get better protection for your data.
Ramifications of a Security Breach
As described above, the ramifications of a security breach are very costly. The data could contain information on credit cards of the users that has been saved within their devices. It could allow access to private photos of users. It could lead to identity theft for users at confidential posts. It could also pose a national security threat due to information that is contained within the mobile device, especially if the phone breached belongs to a person with national security level clearance.
A recent example of a security breach through malicious code was found in the CamScanner. Kaspersky found the malicious code and reported that the code added for ads was able to show users intrusive ads and was able to snoop on login credentials. This was later fixed by CamScanner with an update.
Android security apps development trends
There have been statistical proofs suggesting that many mobile app developers go wrong with implementing SSL/HTTPs. It is also seen that a huge section of applications are vulnerable to cyber-attacks because they lack binary hardening protection. Many applications demand some private information from the user making it a highly sensitive matter.
For this, we require to know about the actual threats faced by mobile applications and how to keep them safe. Android applications run in a sandbox, an isolated area of the system that does not have access to the rest of the system’s resources. It can only access other applications data after access permissions are granted by the user. The Google Play Store has been updated to provide the required data for an app to function and list optional permissions for further functionality. The user has the ability to accept or refuse these permissions before installing the application.
How to protect against such attacks
As the previous section suggests, there is no way to protect against unknown malware or viruses, but there are still ways to protect yourself against such attacks.
Using VPN to access the internet allows you to secure your information when connecting to public internet facilities, as the VPN will mask your identity while using the internet. There are vast chances that your confidential information will get exposed in front of ISP providers and other local network owners while using public internet facilities. As the data is already sent to an encrypted server so you In both situations, it’s good to connect with a VPN and secure your online presence. When you connect with a VPN’s private server, it will let others see the IP address of that specific server, but yours won’t be visible.
Checking the application’s access rights before installing them would also reduce the risk of data breach. If a mobile game requires access to your call-logs or messages, disable this access to them, as they may use phishing techniques to get data. This requires you to first scan for all the permissions during installation or you may even check your phone for granted permissions to apps to deny them permissions that are not required by them at all.
Antivirus companies provide Android security options that will protect you against malwares, adwares, virus, data breaches and many other security threats. They will even inform you whether the third-party app you are installing is recommended or not, and will even run them in a closed environment to keep your data secure. They will also scan the software being installed for already existing breaches. Installing antivirus on Android that do not have these tools pre-installed will allow you to monitor apps during and after installation.
Half of Android’s security has been given to us to protect by Google, where the permission access is granted by users themselves. Mobile phones are so common in our lives that we cannot see ourselves without them in the future. But the huge security risk is involved with every information related to us being available to access on a device through the internet. Different security protocols do exist, but protecting our own data is also a task that we should focus on.
The damages will not be monetary only but can lead to blackmail or even identity theft if enough information against that person is available. Antivirus on Androids and other security measures by app stores are there to keep us safe, so remember to use only verified and secure apps. And even if you need to install a third-party app, never use it without a vulnerability scan from an antivirus.