In most countries around the world mobile technology is available, and most people with access to mobile technology own the technology. In 2015 there were 1.4 billion smartphone sold, this was 10 percent up on 2014.
The statistics show that five out of every six phone sold was running on an Android operating system, and one in seven was using Apples iOS operating system.
A major smartphone manufacturer predicts that by 2020 there will be nearly 6.4 billion smart phones using the global networks; that is almost one smartphone per person in the world.
As technology evolves these smartphones are becoming even more advanced, most have very powerful processors, using 4G networks and have high bandwidth connectivity. This means that the smartphone is now as powerful as many computers, and many people use phones as their main technology. Therefore, the smartphones contains valuable personal information.
Smartphones are becoming an increasing target for the cyber criminals. This means that the criminals are investing in more sophisticated attacks to gain access to personal data. Android operating systems are the main target for cyber criminals, although in 2015 Apple devices also had their systems compromised by the cyber criminals.
With the development of PayPal, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and various other well-known mobile payment systems, smartphones and mobile devices are an ever growing market for the hackers to exploit.
The development of App stores has proved to be very attractive to the cyber criminals. People remotely install the apps, browse, purchase and pay for goods using software that can be easily infected with malware. Many users download the Apps from their infected desktops, which is a cross-over threat to the user.
The Android operating systems tend to have a less stringent screening process, which is why the number of malicious iOS Apps is so much smaller than for Android.
In 2015 there was an increase of 40 percent in the number of Android malware variants than in the previous year. There were more than three times as many Android Apps classified as containing malware in 2015 compared to the year earlier. This represents a staggering 230 percent increase.
Many industry gurus predict that as mobile technology advances, most people will use this technology as their primary form of IT technology, and with the number of people having access to this technology it is a cyber criminals dream.
Therefore, manufacturers, app developers and users must place a lot of emphasis on smartphone security. In the event of a cyber-attack it is imperative that every organisation has a disaster recovery procedure that has been proven to efficiently restore company data.