Android makes up nearly a third of the global smartphone market. At the same time, Android's open platform supports many different variants of the Android ROM running on different types of devices, and hundreds of different app stores around the world. This gives a whole lot of space to the hackers to misuse these apps. Android also is home for many Trojans and adware schemes, which makes hacking a creative an easy process.
Android is open sourced and with that comes its pros and cons. While this provides a great platform for a variety of apps, it also makes it equally difficult to have a crisp security solution. Patches also take a lot of time to gain acceptability. OEMs react very slow to the updation process, so much so that Jelly Bean, for example, had been delivered to only 0.1 % of Android Users, whereas it was an updated, malware free Android version.
Beta News interviewed Mr. Huan Ren, chief architect at Android security and performance specialist 360 Security to get his views on mobile security landscape. Through this interview, he spoke about the upcoming issue of app security, which has today become an essential knowledge to possess, atleast for developer community.
The Google team is known to be on the top of Android Securities Vulnerabilities. For example, Google rolled out Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) with Jelly Bean. Google also updated SMS broadcast requirements, which secures SMS messages that are delivered to mobile apps. Google offers encryption protocols including MD5, AES, and HTTPS, along with regular security patches as well. One of the major consequences of providing an open platform is losing control over its own platform and security standards. If security privilege isn’t provided to app developers per se, they may decide to store users' information in plain text format for the sake of developing a fast, minimum, viable product. This would then open the app up to vulnerabilities and hackers wouldn't need to sweat to steal any stored information about the app's users!
Also read: Palm-Mystery – Your Hacked Device!
Android users download the apps from various trusted as well as untrustworthy and third party market as really questionable prices. This could also be the reason for them suffering due to the malicious acts of these apps. Security apps in these cases are essential to have. Fortunately, these days, security apps are simple to use and free-to-download.
While this sounds good, the bad part is that even all the security apps cannot protect you fully against things like data thefts and hacks. This is why it becomes very important to educate developers to use practices that enhance security.
There are some simple measures which the users can take to safeguard their device and app. For the same, it is highly recommended that the users must update their apps and operating system regularly to ensure that they are receiving the latest patches. This will minimize the chances that a hacker could take advantage of their device. Also users need to avoid suspicious links, apps, mobile sites, and unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks.
These measures taken will reduce the security lapses to more than half for the users. However, the ball still lies in the developers’ court wherein it is their responsibility to get apps secured before they hacked unethically!