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Gartner issues mobile security breach warning


May 30, 2014  


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Nearly 2.2 billion smartphones and tablets will be sold to end users in 2014 according to Gartner, Inc. While security incidents originating from mobile devices are rare, the firm said that by 2017, 75% of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfiguration.

“Mobile security breaches are — and will continue to be — the result of misconfiguration and misuse on an app level, rather than the outcome of deeply technical attacks on mobile devices,” said Dionisio Zumerle, principal research analyst at Gartner. “A classic example of misconfiguration is the misuse of personal cloud services through apps residing on smartphones and tablets. When used to convey enterprise data, these apps lead to data leaks that the organization remains unaware of for the majority of devices.”

With the number of smartphones and tablets on the increase, and a decrease in traditional PC sales, attacks on mobile devices are maturing. By 2017, Gartner predicts that the focus of endpoint breaches will shift to tablets and smartphones.

To do significant damage in the mobile world, malware needs to act on devices that have been altered at an administrative level.

“The most obvious platform compromises of this nature are ‘jailbreaking’ on iOS or ‘rooting’ on Android devices,” said Zumerle.

“They escalate the user’s privileges on the device, effectively turning a user into an administrator,” said Zumerle.

Gartner analysts will discuss their findings at the research firm’s IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summits 2014, next week in Berlin and June 9-11 in Orlando.

 


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