A large percentage of the population now carries a smart phone. And on that smart phone likely are several different types of apps. Individuals who like to create viruses know how popular mobile apps are and have started creating viruses that infiltrate you cell phone. In fact, the number of malicious viruses created from or in mobile apps is on the increase. For criminals, these types of viruses provide another way to steal personal information which proves invaluable to criminal attacks and can be used to conduct other attacks using the mobile phone or other vectors.
The goal to making sure your phone is as secure as possible, a process called mobile threat management. The first step to taking care of the danger and making sure you’re not affected by it is to know about it. The second step is to have a better understanding of what the apps you choose to use do with the information it controls. Some would say that the latter is critical if you’re interested in securing your intellectual property and networks.
There are a variety of programs you can use to identify and stop mobile threats. When making your selection in mobile threat management software, it’s important to make sure you choose the program that’s going to be the most effective. Not all programs are created equal. Some, for all their claims and promises to keep you protected, are unable to keep up with the constantly changing threats in the mobile app world. The software you choose to identify and stop mobile threats needs to have the ability to keep up with the fast moving speed of mobile threats that sometimes change at speeds software can barely keep up with. You need a program that can do that without compromise.
The best mobile threat management software provides real time visibility of the threats that are on mobile devices. A play by play analysis is provided of suspicious apps. The software should let you know what it’s doing with you mobile device and provide an index of pre-analyzed apps. Custom apps should also have threat assessments generated for them.
When looking for software that is able to provide good protection against malicious app viruses, there are a few features that are a good idea to make sure that software has. They are:
– The ability to block malicious apps from running on your device.
– Provides alerts to you, the user and administrator, of any suspicious apps.
– Has the ability to connect disparate mobile apps in order to provide a full picture of that particular apps intent.
– Works on both Android and iOs apps.
– Ensures wide visibility of mobile apps and mobile threats.
– Provide threat scores and behavioral details for various pre-analyzed apps from various app stores.
– A clear threat management dashboard of some sort that provides real time visibility of any mobile threats on your network or on your mobile devices.
– Provides or offers a true detect mobile virus fix model with integration with MDM solutions.
You may be tempted to use traditional cyber security measures like next generation firewalls. While these do work to a certain extent, they may not always be the best option in order to get the strongest security and protection against app viruses. They have some flaws that creators of malicious application viruses know how to exploit in order to compromise your network or get access to your personal information.
Some studies suggest that next generation firewalls (NGFWs) may be only capable of stopping minor and amateur viruses. There have been studies that show that they’re less competent at stopping targeted attacks and advanced malware. This is because NGFWs tend to take an application-centric approach to classifications of traffic which means they’re not able to detect some of the new breeds of viruses. They’re completely incompetent and providing any sort of protection against advanced persistent threat attacks.
Any type of NGFW anti malware software, programs or technology rely on traditional IPS and antivirus signatures, URL blacklists and reputation analyses. These approaches have been proven to lack the proactive factor. Since this type of mobile app threat protection is reactive, it doesn’t have the ability to stop any more than the most basic app viruses. This type of software generally doesn’t have the ability to keep up with the millions of new malware variants that surface each year.
This is a problem that NGFW has acknowledged. They are working to fix this hole in their mobile threat management software. But as of yet, this issue has not been fully resolved. One way these vendors have tried to strengthen the virus fighting strength of their software is to change their products so that they now have cloud based analysis of DLLs and binaries. This is supposed to give the software the ability to provide rapid hourly updates as to the status of many different types of application viruses. Virus protection experts strongly suggest that this is still inadequate for those who need more protection since cloud based analysis of potential mobile threats is incapable of provided advanced malware protection.
Here are a few of the flaws in NGFWs as a way to protect against mobile viruses.
1. They generally are not capable of stopping email based attacks. This is because the cloud based analysis that most NGFWs provide do not analyze email for malware so it’s incapable of stopping spear phishing attacks.
2. They tend to be slow and reactive. Hourly updates of viruses are not fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing world of malware. This is too slow to detect new attack binary. New attack binaries change within one hour.
3. They have an inability to stop web page attacks. This is because the updated NGFW cloud based analysis doesn’t really analyze. It does not look at PDFs, image formats and Microsoft documents, the file formats malware commonly uses to exploit the vulnerabilities of certain apps.
4. They cannot do anything about encrypted binaries. NGFW mobile threat management is flawed in that it’s not set up to detect encrypted or hidden binaries. It’s designed on the premise that malware binaries are transmitted in the clear.