Android_risks

Mobile Security Testing: 10 Android Risks to Be Ready For

The Android’s recent position in the market of mobile operating systems is really unassailable. Presently some estimate its global smartphone share at almost 90 percent. Similarly, most analysts foresee Android to be dominant in mobile in a few years, much like Windows was once dominant in desktop PCs. And Google, with it multiple advertisers, vendors and application marketplaces, is sure to benefit from that greatly.

However, there’s not the only similarity Android bears to Windows in this respect. The latest research suggests that over 95 percent of the world’s mobile malware in 2013 targeted Android devices and that is some 15 percent more than the year before. Even worse is that the malware signatures’ total number is on the rapid rise, too. Such statistics, with mobile security testing necessary like never before but still without any single solution to even approach to resolving the mobile troubles of the world, raises much alarm in the business world.

No wonder about that because here are the 10 Android security risks everyone should be troubled about:

  1. They Target Android Just Like You

Perhaps the first and major reason to be worried about your Android device’s (or app’s) security is that very fact that with such a great market share Android is also far more often targeted by mobile malware. This means you have lower chances to catch malware using other platforms and speaks to great effort needed to protect Android security.

  1. Messing With Fragmentation

Android’s ecosystem generally stays a fragmented mess. By the KitKat release Android Jelly Bean was the most installed OS, with around two thirds of Android’s ecosystem. However, there are still a huge number of mobile devices running Android versions like 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread and 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. While the later releases come with the new security features, these older ones don’t have them and millions of their users still face a higher risk of cyber attacks and malware.

  1. Windows’s Example Is Haunting

What’s scary about the malware growth within the Android ecosystem today is the close similarity to its rampup with Windows. Thus, as hackers saw an increasing number of users moved to Windows, their attention almost exclusively turned to that operation system. And with still more people choosing that software, these threats increase accordingly.

  1. Many App Stores Are Just As Bad As They Are Good

Interesting enough is that Google Play doesn’t present any threat to its users as less than 1 percent of detected malware samples were in the matter of fact discovered in Google’s store. Where all kinds of security issues happen is at the point where users start venturing in some other territories by downloading Android apps from many unauthorized app stores there are on the web. That’s why Android users are better to steer clear of such unauthorized app stores.

  1. Google Isn’t The Only One Who Wants To Be One Step Ahead

No one would debate that Google is constantly trying to improve security issues Android has and with each launch of a new software product the company makes some security improvements to its offerings. But the issue is the following: malware creators are a step ahead all the same. Then, with malicious people able to be ahead of the powerful and influential Google, where does it leave the Android ecosystem’s state of security?

  1. Google Here, Google There, But Not Everywhere

As we already mentioned, Google Play proves to be a pretty safe marketplace. On the other hand, ubiquitous as it may look, there are still countries where users can’t access Google Play and there is no available developer support, for example in Brazil. While Google Play is certainly the safest place for users to get Android apps, it’s not available everywhere, and that’s also an issue.

  1. Not So Safe in a Globalized World Anymore

Following the previous issue, it’s also worth noticing that users from the US and other countries, where Google Play is fully available and that presumably means better mobile security, should consider a significant of globalization, on the other hand. As globalization suggests a deep integration of human activity around the world, you can only imagine how fast some malware hitting people in Europe, for instance, can reach the rest of the world and compromise the overall security just as well. Globalization may be a blessing, but in terms of security issues, it’s more likely a curse.

  1. Are Hardware Vendors That Clean

The studies show that a part of the blame for Android security issues can be laid upon hardware vendors. While it’s their responsibility to get the new versions of the Android platform up and running on computer devices, there are too often lagging behind the point where they’re ought to be. Thus, software updates are one of the crucial conditions of Android security.

  1. It’s All About Who’s Faster

With the statistics data mentioned above, there can be no doubt Android security issues are going to still increase in the following years. Actually, the comparative analysis shows that since 2012 the number of such issues has been almost quadrupling yearly. Given this growing pace, if the situation is bad now, no reason for relaxing as it’s only getting worse and the solutions must be found even sooner.

  1. Why Blame Android Alone

Finally, the last but not least reason of frequent Android security problems isn’t really about Android. It’s just because mobile security as a whole is pretty worrisome. Multiple threats are coming daily from apps, web browsers, SMS and many other holes readily exploited by malicious hackers. Thus, as long as mobile security space stays a risky area for both users and security organizations, it’s hard to predict the end of security concern.

These 10 issues give you good reasons for testing your mobile security more carefully, and the whole mobile development industry – for finding out yet new security protection measures.


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TestFort blog is an official blog of TestFort QA Lab company and is dedicated to various QA and software testing issues.


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