Mobile viruses were up sixfold in Q3 according to security firm Trend Micro, and they’re set for another sharp upwards spike in 2013, thanks to an anticipated new crop of banking apps.
That said, the groundswell of mobile threats will also pave the way for a more aggressive push from Trend Micro aimed at securing its place in the MDM space – an arena that promises to be a main focus for the Tokyo-based security firm going forward.
To put numbers to the predictions, mobile malware in Q3 rose from 30,000 malicious apps to more than 175,000 in the third quarter, according to Trend Micro. And it’s likely maintain an upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.
Trend Micro predicts that next year, mobile viruses will be evolved enough to siphon data off of banking applications, which will increase along accelerating mobile banking trends.
But other threat variants will include a proliferation of aggressive mobile adware that can’t be deleted or removed, as well as spam and cyberespionage attacks. And all of those threats will overwhelmingly target the Android platform.
In short, mobile threats are on a fast track to mirror malware aimed for PCs.
Now, Trend Micro isn’t offering up anything new or surprising. By all reports, mobile threats have experienced a sharp growth spike for the last few years and are expected to maintain an exponential rise.
Similarly, researchers at security rival McAfee, Inc. discovered more than eight million new kinds of malware in the second quarter, representing a 23 percent increase from the first quarter. And one of the biggest drivers for its proliferation going forward will be a sourced to a rising tide of mobile ransomware.
Meanwhile, a report issued by mobile security firm Lookout, Inc. indicated that at least 18 million Android users will be subjected to mobile malware from the beginning of 2012 to the end of 2013, with the likelihood of a new user encountering mobile malware estimated to be around 84 percent between June and October 2013.
And these threats are not set for a slowdown any time soon.
However, Trend Micro is also setting the stage for further entrance in to the mobile security and MDM market. And it’s a place that Trend Micro hopes to cement in light of an uptick of dedicated mobile security firms such as Lookout as well as competitive offerings from industry peers.
In July, Trend Micro attempted to establish credibility in the mobile security space with the launch of its Mobile Device Management solution, a release that directly went up against offerings by competitors Symantec Corp. and McAfee. And more will likely be forthcoming in 2013.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that Trend Micro will attempt to hold its ground in this arena – for a lot of reasons. Undoubtedly, the mobile security market is primed for lucrative growth. An Infonetics report projected that mobile security client software will top $7.3 billion by 2016.
But Trend Micro also faces formidable challengers in this space. Symantec and McAfee both lead Trend Micro in marketshare, which could translate to a natural leg up in mobile security markets. In addition, Trend Micro is also up against a slew of dedicated upstart firms that swipe marketshare from legacy competitors with more nimble and innovative offerings out the gate.
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