Judging by the warnings issued by security vendors, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s a malware epidemic on the Android platform. The truth, according to Sean Newman, security evangelist at Sourcefire (now part of Cisco), is somewhat more nuanced.
In this interview he explains how the number of published vulnerabilities is just as great for iOS as for Android. But it’s all about whether and how they get exploited. And when it comes to Android, the biggest threat remains trojanised apps, usually downloaded from dodgy app stores on to rooted devices.
There’s another problem, too, with apps being given excessive permissions and users not taking notice of this – instead, they just click through during the install or update. People trust the software that they’ve downloaded and simply want to use it.
We’re still waiting for more sophisticated threats to become common on Android. Meanwhile, plenty of security and network professionals remain worried about mobiles in the workplace being a weak link in their security chain. They needn’t be, says Newman, because once a mobile device is on your network, you can monitor and treat it just like any other computer.