AVG Concurs with Kaspersky Lab that Mobile Devices Need Protecting
Article by George Norman
On 24 Mar 2011
At CeBIT this year, Eugene Kaspersky, Co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, company that offers award-winning antivirus and mobile security software for home and corporate users, said that because more and more people are using mobile devices, they are becoming an interesting target for the bad guys. Eugene Kaspersky said that this year mobile malware threat is set to increase and predicted increased professionalism for the mobile malware cybercrime sphere.

Kaspersky Lab then provided a few statistics to show how bad things are. According to Kaspersky Lab, the amount of mobile malware has doubled in the last couple of years. Kaspersky Lab recorded 154 different mobile malware families with 1,046 strains in January 2011. With these figures in mind, Kaspersky Lab said that attacks on mobile users will definitely increase in the future.


AVG Technologies, company that specializes in providing antivirus and internet security protection to home and business users, concurs with Kaspersky Lab. AVG Technologies said that a study confirmed its concerns that users are not taking mobile security seriously. The study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and AVG Technologies on 734 smartphone users from the US, showed that:

- 91% of respondents were not aware that financial applications for smartphones can be infected with specialized malware
- 89% of respondents were unaware that smartphone applications can transmit confidential info payment information such as credit card details without the their knowledge or consent.
- 56% of respondents were not aware that someone could compromise their social network account if they do not properly log off from a social network app.

"The findings of this study signal what could be an overlooked security risk for organizations created by employees' use of smartphones. Because consumers in our study report that they often use smartphones interchangeably for business and personal, organizations should make sure their security policies include guidelines for the appropriate use of smartphones that are used for company purposes," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute.

"We have increasing responsibility to educate consumers on the dangers lurking in mobile broadband and to help users take ownership of their mobile data security," said J.R. Smith, CEO, AVG Technologies. "The mobile internet does not have to be a risky environment, though the industry must work together to encourage users to take action by downloading low-cost or free anti-virus products specifically designed to protect mobile data."

This is not the first time that a study performed by the Ponemon Institute and AVG Technologies shows that smartphone users do not take mobile security seriously. This February AVG Technologies made public the results of a study which showed that:

- One third of smartphone users are not aware of the increasing security risks associated with using their phones for financial purposes and to store personal data.
- Only 29% of users considered using free or paid antivirus software to protect their personal devices.
- 13% of users said location data had been unknowingly embedded on their handset enabling others to track their location. 21% of users had no idea that their location could be tracked via their smartphone.
- 8% of users said they had their smartphone infected with diallerware. Only 10% of users knew criminals could use diallerware.
- 6% of users said mobile applications transmitted confidential payment information without their consent. 11% of users were not aware of the fact that transmitting confidential payment information like credit card data without their consent is possible.

What should users do to protect their smartphones? Kaspersky Lab advises them to get Kaspersky Mobile Securty 9 while AVG Technologies advises them to get AVG Antivirus Free for Android.

Tags: Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, AVG Technologies, Ponemon Institute, Security, Smartphones
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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