Mobile malware still ignored by most

stapSecurity software companies must try harder to take advantage of mobile malware misgivings and convince smartphone users to start parting with their cash.

This overwhelming preference among mobile users for free stuff needn’t be a barrier to new revenue streams for the security developers, according to a report out today from Juniper Research.

The 135 page report, which is called ‘Mobile Security: BYOD, mCommerce, Consumer & Enterprise 2013-2018’, takes a look at all the usual suspects in the security space and beyond – from AVG to ZyXel.

It concluded that 80 percent of smartphones are unprotected, mostly because of a lack of threat-savvy on the part of their owners. With such a significant majority of phones left unprotected because their owners can’t even be bothered with free software, getting people to cough up looks like it might be a tall order for the anti-malware brigade.

The report also highlights the predicted growth in mobile malware attacks, citing claims from Trend Micro that there would be “more than one million malwares in the market” by the end of the year. It doesn’t make clear whether that figure is a global prediction, however.

The report found that nearly 1.3 billion mobile devices including smartphones, featurephones and tablets are expected to have mobile security software installed by 2018, up from around 325 million this year.

The UK’s National Fraud Authority has also recently warned that mobile malware can be hard to spot with the naked eye, and is generally disguised as legitimate apps.

According to one of the other big noises in the security space, McAfee, 17,000 new forms of mobile malware targeting Android-based devices were identified in the second quarter of 2013. That’s 21% up on Q1 of this year.

Cyber criminals are after your wonga. The security software firms wouldn’t object to having some of it too.

You pays your money, you takes your choice.