Research from Symantec shows that global detection numbers for mobile malware increased by 29% to 7.2 million in 2016.


Though infections and variants are small compared to the traditional Windows PC world, this indicates that cyber-criminals are looking for new ways to attack financial apps and other sensitive data following the introduction of two factor authentication.


Symantec says that besides generic detections, mobile financial threats are the third most common threat category, behind premium text message sending apps and ransomware. The South African Banking Risk Information confirms that mobile malware and phishing attacks are also on the increase in South Africa—opening a new risk horizon for local banks as more customers move to mobile channels.

Jacques Taljaard, Information Security Analyst

As companies scramble to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technological landscape of today, they are turning towards mobile devices as an affordable means stay relevant. While mobile devices offer many benefits, they also present very real risk when it comes to Information Security.


As mobile devices are increasingly being used in banking and trading, the limited control financial services companies have over them poses a serious risk. Personal devices with no formal security controls accessing work resources creates a critical security risk. Companies are struggling to find affordable ways to balance privacy of the individual with security requirements and this opens the door for cyber criminals, malware and phishing attempts.


Mobile devices are used to manage almost every aspect of your daily life, both private and professional. They are used for two-factor authentication, personal messaging, mail access, banking, and many more transactions that transmit very sensitive data. This data hold immense value for an attacker to aid in a digital assault for financial fraud, identity theft and data ransom.


In South Africa, we don’t calculate risks associated with mobile device the same way we do with laptops or desktop computers. In reality, we should be even more careful with our mobile devices. Security services are not as advanced on mobile platforms as they are on other devices, which makes them a hot target for would-be hackers.


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