It is not easy to build a mobile app. Apart that making an app that protects user’s privacy is really challenging due to numerous security risks. As we know Android now powers more than 85% smart phones and at least 60% tablets over the world. So Android is popular but on the other hand, same popularity also lures cyber attackers who keep trying every way to make the platform more vulnerable.
So question arises – how much serious are these vulnerabilities and what potential damage can be caused by them? Also, is Android a safe platform of enterprise mobile app implementations?
Google Play Store’s Potential Risks
As we know Android is an open source mobile OS. So it’s not a walled garden and thus it is always at one or more risks and breaches when things aren’t managed in required ways. Believe it, or not but many analysts say that Google Platy itself is the key source of potential threats. Expert says that Google Play has not yet been well-policed to guard users from malicious android apps and even after implementing lots of security filters, malicious apps are available for download. There is still an increasing risk of app containing malware and malicious or reverse engineered apps that connect users to malware. So if users download such infected apps, it’s natural that they will experience their devices are behaving abnormally.
To avoid these malicious attacks, users should give proper attention to the permission being asked by the app. Think logically whether an app really needs such permission such as if a torch app is asking permissions for accessing GPS, there is certainly something fishy in it.
Malicious Software or Malware
It seems hard to believe but it’s true that almost 95 percent of Android mobile devices are at risk of being affected by some sort of malware or malicious program. Here in a report of Deccan Chronicle an article “95 percent of Android devices were affected in Q3, 2015: Report” reports that “The third quarter of 2015 saw one of the worst-case security scenarios ever imagined coming true: that information leaked from a data breach would be used for further attacks, such as blackmail and extortion.”
So most of the times, Android devices are at risk. And its open-source nature makes the situation further worst. For now more than 75,000 sorts of threats has been identified and the most common of them include Andr/PJApps-C, Andr/Generic-S, Andr/BBridge-A, Andr/DrSheep-A, and Andr/BatterD-A.
These malware and malicious software send personally identifiable information to unknown servers which later on result in hack of personal accounts without having single clue who really did this.
Risks of Android Fragmentation
The biggest drawback – fragmentation has not been completely managed. The Android ecosystem is still suffering from fragmentation related issues. Fragmented is caused by having multiple versions of the single OS. This affects Android developers who are not able to ensure that app created by them will doubtlessly work in the whole Android ecosystem. Many Android devices have never got even a single update to the OS and are still in US. This condition is more visible in developing countries where people do not quickly change their device and often time buy locally branded, budget mobiles.
Sometimes fragmentation may also cause security issues as a security implementation for particular OS version will do not properly support other versions tweaked by the device vendors.
Granting Permissions to Apps
Often time it’s seen that app developers proceed with their work without having proper understanding of the sort of permissions to be required in their apps. In result they opt to irrelevant permissions. On the other hand, users have tendency of installing apps without checking their permissions. If users install app with proper carefulness, there will hardly be any incident of security breach.
Mobile App Downloads Outside Google Play
Google is trying its best to secure apps but many beaches come from those apps which are downloaded from the places other than Google Play. Users downloading apps from unknown sources are often infected. If users stop downloading apps from places other than Google Play store, many security breach incidents can be avoided.
Malicious Software for Mobile Application Development
Also, some Android developers use malicious software for creating apps. In these cases developers finish up with such app as end-product which is infected with some kind of vulnerability.
Customization to the OS
Another security threat is more common on Android platform is cause by the facility of customizing the OS. Yes, device vendors do customize the OS in order to give them different look and feel or install some their promotional apps. By doing this they make security issues to the OS. Also, many users install OS customization app launched which tend to cause security issues.