More than 40 per cent of Android-based smartphone and tablet owners in the UAE do not use any security software to protect their devices against cyber-threats, according to a survey conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in summer 2013.
Meanwhile, Android has long been the most popular platform for ordinary users and the cybercriminals who use malware to steal from them.
Only 58 per cent of smartphone and 57 per cent of tablet owners in the UAE participating in the survey stated that they have installed a security solution on their devices and are now using it. Other respondents are content to rely on the limited security features integrated in the OS, or trust their own instincts to keep them safe.
Meanwhile, for cybercriminals Android is well-established as the top target among all mobile platforms. According to the Kaspersky Lab cloud service Kaspersky Security Network, which accumulates data about urgent cyber-threats, 99 per cent of current malware samples targeting mobile devices have been developed for the Android platform. And this threat is growing: Kaspersky Lab specialists detected 35,000 malicious samples for the whole of 2012, while the figure for the first half of 2013 was over 47,000.
There are two main reasons why cybercriminals are interested in the Android platform: popularity and functionality. A malicious program can make a smartphone send text messages to premium-rate short numbers, thus stealing money from the user’s account; it can turn the smartphone into a spying device, giving the fraudsters information about the device owner, including all calls, correspondence, passwords to social network and e-pay accounts, etc. In other words, all the communication, entertainment and computing capabilities of Android-based devices are just as popular with criminals as they are with regular users.
There’s another serious risk which can have unpleasant consequences – the high probability of devices being lost or stolen. For many people smartphones and tablets have become the main place to store their favorite photos and videos, correspondence with friends and family, work-related documents and other valuable information which must not fall into the wrong hands.
Yet not even this rapid rise of threats can prevent Android from remaining a convenient and useful platform for many tasks. Therefore we advise users of Android-based devices to protect their smartphones and tablets with a high-quality Internet Security class solution.
Fixing Android security problems
Kaspersky Lab has developed Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, an advanced solution to safeguard popular Android-based smartphones and tablets. The solution integrates cutting-edge technologies for detecting cyber-threats based on extensive antivirus databases which receive updates within a few minutes of any new malware sample or dangerous link being identified in the Kaspersky Security Network cloud. In addition, the Kaspersky Lab product includes a set of intelligent mechanisms that can proactively detect even the newest unknown threats by monitoring their behavior.
Personal data stored on a device is protected with the help of special functions capable of hiding private contacts, calls and texts. If your mobile device is lost or stolen, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android has a dedicated set of mechanisms that prevent crooks from accessing your personal data.
The free version contains basic antivirus functionality (user-activated scanning) and all remote device management facilities. Using the integrated in-app purchase system, users can upgrade to Premium level which, in addition to the free functionality, provides advanced antivirus mechanisms, including automatic scans of every downloaded app, real-time protection from emerging threats and web protection to combat phishing attacks. The premium version also includes features to manage personal information – including the option of hiding contacts, calls, messages and their history from prying eyes.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android is available as a separate product on Kaspersky Lab’s official site as well as at Android Apps on Google Play. In addition, it is included in Kaspersky Internet Security – Multi-Device, a solution designed to protect several devices running on different operating systems.