Tag: cybersecurity threats

No mobile security used by half of UK’s university students

Intel Security is now calling for improved cybersecurity education resources in the United Kingdom.

Hundreds of thousands of university students in the United Kingdom use no mobile security whatsoever on their smartphones. As a result, they are living their devices – and everything they contain – at a high risk of unauthorized access.

Intel Security is hoping to reach more students with a message of the importance of adequate mobile protection.

This year’s estimates were that there were more than 420,000 students in the United Kingdom headed to university with the start of this school year. However, a new Intel Security poll has pointed out that only half of them will have packed adequate smartphone protection with them when they go. This means that the other half of the university students in the U.K. have no mobile security software installed to protect their devices and their data.

With no mobile security software, these students are placing their devices at a very real risk.

No Mobile Security - Students with mobile phoneThe reason is that among those who took part in the poll, 90 percent said they log onto public WiFi. Those hotspots are accessed both on campus and off campus. This activity places them at a much higher exposure to mobile security threats. Without any protection software, they are essentially an open book for unauthorized parties to read.

Furthermore, according to the most recent data from the McAfee Labs Quarterly Threat Report, mobile malware is increasing at an explosive rate. Year over year, these mobile cybersecurity threats have risen by 150 percent.

On the other hand, while students may not have protected their devices yet, they are willing to learn. University students in the U.K. have expressed a desire to discover more about why having no mobile security is risky. They are also willing to learn more about related issues. Forty eight percent of the 1000 students who participated in the survey said they would be willing to attend an online security seminar if one were available.

According to Nick Viney, Intel Security VP consumer, this is a positive step, “Yet its concerning that many are still opening themselves up to risks unknowingly. When it comes to students’ online safety, we all have a responsibility.”

Mobile security issues such as malware are causing a boom in protection services

This is exacerbated by the number of devices that remain unprotected.

Mobile security solutions providers are already struggling with the practices of many clients through their BYOD initiatives – which are becoming increasingly common – but a new report has indicated that the problem is growing on a large number of levels.

The report indicates that cybersecurity threats have taken off over the last two years, particularly in smartphones.

The study was conducted by Juniper Research Ltd., a firm based in the United Kingdom, and indicated that mobile security threats have taken off over the last couple of years and despite that fact, the majority of smartphones still remain nearly entirely unprotected.

This is because mobile security threats are starting to change in their primary focus.

Mobile security threatsAlthough cyber criminals had initially transferred their focus from PCs to mobile devices for consumers, they are starting to concentrate on the enterprise space to a growing degree. By the end of this year, it is expected that there will be one million types of mobile malware that will be thriving by the end of 2013.

In fact, the analysts at Juniper determined that over 80 percent of all consumer and enterprise owned smartphones will continue to be unprotected throughout the remainder of the year, despite the large exposure and considerable threat of malware. The slow mobile security protection is the result of low awareness among device users to the vulnerabilities, and the overall perception that these devices are too expensive to protect.

These findings were published in Juniper’s “Mobile Security: BYOD, mCommerce, Consumer &Enterprise 2013-2018” report. Within that report, Juniper divided the online landscape for mobile security threats down into various different segments. Approximately 70 percent of the threats were found to be able to steal a smartphone owner’s personal data that is stored on the device. An additional 20 percent of these types of malware are forms of adware and spyware that need the permission of the user for installation and that then proceed to collect device location, personal data, or usage behavior.

Though the mobile security situation may look bad, the report did indicate that there is a growth in awareness and that this is beginning to have an impact on the attitudes and behaviors of device users in securing their gadgets.