Mobile security

Look around you and you will see the world crouching and twiddling its thumbs on a rectangular electronic device or speaking on a bigger than normal handset with a faraway look- the “smart phone”! No longer is the phone just considered a “phone” for oral communication purposes but it is used for other purposes as well – like bill payment, online shopping, chatting, social networking, instant messaging, playing games and so on.
“Smart phones” or “mobiles” have become cheap and much more affordable enabling the world to slowly but surely move from a strictly desktop society to a more mobile society.

Security and Mobile devices:

Security almost plays a key role in every technological aspect – be it Big Data, programming, banking, gaming, financials, shopping etc. Take the case of the ‘Target’ data breach where 40 million credit and debit cards were stolen and sold elsewhere for financial or malicious purposes. Even though this data breach affected the retailer and was not related to the mobile site, it shows the extent of the breach and how no one is spared.

Mobile devices will be the next battleground for hackers and people with malicious intent. As mobile devices gain acceptance, hackers will devise new ways to infiltrate the system and steal private and personal data. Since there is no such thing as 100% security and “mobile security” is still in its infancy, security practitioners and top management must seek new ways to plug the security holes in mobile engagement.

Statistics related to mobile security:

According to a report from Kaspersky lab for the year 2014, there were

  1. 295,539 new malicious mobile programs and
  2. 12,100 mobile banking Trojans

In addition,

“19% of Android users encountered a mobile threat at least once during the year” and “53% of Android-attacks used mobile Trojans designed to steal the user’s money (SMS Trojans and banking Trojans)” (Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2014. Overall statistics for 2014)


Mobile Security features:

There are different security downloads that have been created for today’s mobile devices and a few features relating to some of these downloads are listed below:

  1. Anti- theft features

The anti-theft features like SIM card change notification makes sure that if the SIM is changed, an alarm is raised and the user is notified.  The other features also prevent thieves in their tracks. They are:

  • Stealth mode
  • App disguiser
  • Battery save
  • SIM card change notification (Avast Free Mobile Security)


  1. Remote features

The remote features of mobile security apps enable users to secure their devices in a variety of ways. For example, in case a mobile device is lost, users can remotely lock the device and completely wipe it clean to disable hackers from misusing it in any way. The other remote features are stated below:

  • remote lock feature
  • Remote siren
  • Remote memory wipe
  • Remote locate
  • Remote display


  1. Anti-virus features include enabling virus scans of all apps and memory content
  2. In addition they also provide backup facility, parental controls and SIM lockdown.

As hackers turn to this new form of communication to access personal information, new security controls need to be devised to keep the malicious elements at bay.

As technology slowly but surely changes our lives and the “mobile” becomes the quintessential necessity, different mobile trends will affect us in different ways and keeping you protected is every Infosec professional’s duty.


About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

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