Why Organizations Should Consult Managed Security Services

COVID-19 | Development of mobile use and security aspects

We are asked to limit all physical activities, including those mobile use is increasing sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The business applications are at the top of the teleworking list enforced by many organizations. From an individual perspective, the containment has had a drastic effect on our daily mobile activities, as we only spend more time on our store, and the use of social and entertainment apps (fitness, streaming ...) is increasing in general.

 

 

In just a few weeks, specific cases made headlines in which the risks of mobile use became aware: A Covid-Map-Trackerapp was called Ransomware unmasked, which recorded over 400,000 downloads in the official store before it was removed, another example is a well-known conference app in which personal data leaked as well as embedding security processes.

This article summarizes the latest mobile developments and the underlying security issues for businesses.

 

At a time when mobile usage is reaching record highs, the company must immediately ensure the implementation of mobile security solutions.

Pradeo offers its mobile security services free of charge to guide companies through these difficult times. More here.

 

Booming downloads and time spent on mobile devices

While the average time spent on mobile devices is typically around 3 hours and 15 minutes, it increases by 30% when we factor in Chinese metrics during the pandemic.

Most of that time is spent on applications, which are also the main vector for threats (76% according to our last report).

During this quarantine situation, mobile app downloading is booming around the world. In Italy in particular, worldwide downloads from the App Store increased by 113% compared to the previous month.

 

In terms of various categories, business apps are seeing the biggest increase (794%), ahead of apps for health and fitness (358%) and education (301%). On the other hand, the biggest drop affects travel apps. With people who cancel their business trips, vacations or normal work / home trips, carpooling and car pooling lost the largest download volume (64% in the travel category).

 

 

Business applications to support work from home

Taking a closer look at the currently most important applications, 4 of the 5 most downloaded applications on Google Play and the App Store in the US were from March 26 to April 1 business / educational purposes.

The companies had to reorganize themselves and continue to work “as before”. To plan meetings, many have opted for solutions such as the famous but recently criticized Zoom or Hangouts, House parties, Teams ...

These types of applications can process some sensitive information and must therefore be appropriately secured. The Zoom application was updated after the scandal surrounding the sending of the personal data to Facebook, which fixed the sending of the data. We therefore recommend that you update the app to the latest version.

If providers are expected to implement even more customized security measures when delivering corporate services, only protection on the device can ensure the security of the company and meet general as well as specific company requirements.

 

News, social networks: Always keep up to date

In view of the COVID19 crisis, news apps are consulted daily to get important information and news. The latest metrics show an increase in downloads in this category.

Also, social media apps are more popular than ever and are becoming the preferred means of keeping in touch with relatives. Facebook claims that its messages have increased more than 50% in the last month, while WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase.

Users rely on such applications to keep in touch with their family and friends. However, they need to be careful when granting permissions, even more if they are using their device for work purposes.

 

Message application security metrics:

  • 84% of the apps process the geolocation of the users, 33% the contact information and 16% the audio and video recordings
  • 43% of the connections are insecure
  • An average of 29 vulnerabilities

 

Social Application Security Metrics:

  • 57% handle user geolocation, 51% audio and video recordings, 40% contact information
  • 39% of the connections are insecure
  • An average of 31 vulnerabilities

 

Fitness: staying in shape

With the home office there is also less movement. Like many others, you may have downloaded a fitness application from your usual app store. This category has the second highest record with a 358% increase. For example, Fitness Coach ranks third in the US App Store, and streaming fitness service Peloton saw downloads increase by 467% in mid-March. This category of apps is no different from any other and has unexpected behaviors and security practices.

 

Fitness application safety metrics:

  • 83% handle user geolocation, 40% contact information, 23% audio and video recordings
  • 44% of the connections are insecure
  • An average of 33 vulnerabilities

 

Entertainment: games and streaming video

With a 41% and 36% download increase, respectively, game and entertainment apps are seeing greater demand than ever before, but incomparable to the demand for business or fitness apps.

This moderate increase can be explained by the fact that many people already had games on their phones and used them during travel times to work, lunch break, etc.

It's pretty much the same thinking when it comes to video streaming. From March 26th to April 1st, TikTok was the second most downloaded application. However, this app was already in the top charts before the quarantine.

However, games are a source of data leaks and security breaches.

 

Game application security metrics:

  • 96% process device information, 62% process geolocation, 40% contact information
  • 39% of the connections are insecure
  • An average of 31 vulnerabilities

 


 

In the new circumstances of the global health crisis, Pradeo wants hisMobile device and application protection services until June 1stmake available free of charge.

 


Sources:

https://appfigures.com/resources/insights/twia-20200320
https://www.paymentscardsandmobile.com/covid-19-the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-mobile-economy/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2020/03/24/google-bans-coronavirus-apps-but-after-400000-downloads
https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/26/report-whatsapp-has-seen-a-40-increase-in-usage-due-to-covid-19-pandemic/