Getting a virus on your computer is bad enough, but getting one on your phone is a whole other story. All your personal information leaks, and sometimes that includes the login credentials for many of the services you use. But how big of a problem is mobile malware? Goode Intelligence has had a go at quantifying the issue, and what they have to say isn’t pretty: 24% of the organizations they surveyed reported that they had to deal with infected devices during 2011. Back in 2010 that number was just 9%. How many companies enforce the use of some sort of anti-virus software on their smartphones? Less than 1 in 5.
What other sort of data did the Goode folks discover? When it comes to which platform is the most adopted within companies, the answer is Apple’s iOS. More specific data wasn’t provided. Also interesting is the fact that over 66% of the companies surveyed are letting their employees use their own devices. No more “work phone” or “personal phone”, these days people just have one. What’s concerning is that over half of these people who pick out their own device don’t even bother using encryption. Wonderful news if you’re the type who’s interested in corporate espionage, but stomach wrenching if you’ve got sales people out in the world with highly confidential data.
So how should you protect both yourself? Don’t be an idiot. By that we mean don’t download any applications that look suspicious. It’s also good form to use a password on your device. Not a four digit pin, not a pattern you draw with your finger, but an actual password like the one you have to type in to access Facebook. You should also setup remote wiping. On an iPhone it takes just a few minutes thanks to iCloud. On Android there’s a free solution out there from F-Secure.