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Mobile malware and vulnerabilities have been making headlines well over the past year, and attacks are becoming a more common way for cybercriminals to steal sensitive data. We believe this trend – one that our research team encounters daily – is illustrated in the Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense Solutions.*

This rise in the sophistication and volume of mobile malware and continued exposure to unknown vulnerabilities demonstrates how Android and iOS devices simply aren’t secure on their own.

The Mobile Threat Defense Market is Growing Rapidly

Mobile malware and vulnerabilities aren’t all that different than their cousins in the PC world. We’ve seen how today’s mobile malware imitates techniques introduced by PC malware. As mobile threats develop, more companies should adopt mobile security solutions designed to keep pace with this evolution.

Is your business ready for the next mobile breach? Find out!
Download: Gartner Market Guide: Mobile Threat Defense solutions

According to Gartner, “by 2018 fewer than 15% of organizations will have mobile threat defense (MTD) in place, which is an increase from fewer than 5% today.” We believe if the number of organizations implementing MTD solutions triples by 2018, it becomes that much harder for cybercriminals to infiltrate and exploit mobile devices, and gives them even less motivation to do so.

The time to act is now. If organizations don’t do something soon to stop mobile malware in its tracks, we’ll soon face a problem on a much wider scale, like the one we encounter already for PCs today.

Organizations Need Across-the-Board Protection

Cybrercriminals focus on three main vectors to conduct attacks on mobile devices:

  1. Networks: Network attacks allow cybercriminals to handpick their targets, minimizing the potential risk of discovery and focusing their efforts only on the specific objective. Cybercriminals can easily set up a fake hotspot, or hijack an existing one.
  2. Apps: App-based attacks provide cybercriminals with the greatest capabilities, enabling them to compromise virtually any target. Malicious apps can be found in a number of Both the Apple App Store and Google Play have been contaminated with malware. The situation is even worse in third-party app stores which have even less control over the apps they host.
  3. Device: Both iOS and Android are riddled with exploits developers constantly struggling to patch. These exploits exist everywhere, from the kernel through the chipsets to the OS. From the moment an exploit is discovered to the moment it is patched, cybercrminals can use it to attack defenseless users.

Accordingly, Gartner says “MTD solutions provide security at one or more of these four levels:

  • Device behavioral anomalies —MTD tools provide behavioral anomaly detection by tracking expected and acceptable use patterns.
  • Vulnerability assessments —MTD tools inspect devices for configuration weaknesses that will lead to malware execution.
  • Network security —MTD tools monitor network traffic and disable suspicious connections to and from mobile devices.
  • App scans —MTD tools identify “leaky” apps (meaning apps that can put enterprise data at risk) and malicious apps, through reputation scanning and code analysis.”

Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention combats threats all four of these levels to help keep mobile devices and data safe. It uses static and dynamic threat analysis to detect malicious and leaky apps. It detects and blocks jailbreak or root attempts which can undermine a device’s built-in protections, and it blocks network attacks and malicious network connections.

MDM and EMM Solutions Are Enhanced by Mobile Threat Defense Solutions

Mobile devices on your network can vary widely between makes, models, and operating systems. That makes MDM and EMM valuable IT assets that help to control your mobile environment.

However, the security these solutions provide can always be enhanced through integration with existing EMMs or MDMs, providing additional value without interfering with existing solutions.

We believe Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention meets these requirements and integrates easily with major EMM and MDM solutions, providing a more secure mobile environment. It protects mobile users and an organization’s data from network-, app-, and device-borne attacks and works with existing security infrastructure to extend value and effectiveness.

To get one step ahead of mobile malware, organizations should consider implementing advanced mobile security solutions that can thwart malware and vulnerabilities before these can infiltrate their networks.

*Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense Solutions, John Girard, Dionisio Zumerle, Published: 28 July 2016