As the mobile workforce expands and the amount of data available on the go increases, businesses beware: if you’re not making mobile security a top priority, it could come back to haunt you. The recently issued Nokia Threat Intelligence Report showed that the rate of mobile device infections rose steadily throughout 2016, peaking in October at an all-time high and increasing 63% from July through December over the first half of the year!

According to the report, smartphones were the device of choice for hackers and malware, accounting for 85 percent of all mobile device infections during the second half of 2016. Furthermore, during the peak of infection in October, 1.35% of all mobile devices were infected.

Of the operating systems available, the report indicates that androids were by far the most commonly attacked, representing  81% of malware infections in the second half of 2016. This figure increased 95% from the previous year. An additional 15% of attacks targeted Windows/PCs, as they connect to mobile networks via USB dongles, mobile Wi-Fi devices and smartphone tethering. iPhones and other mobile devices comprised the other 4% of attack victims.

The report goes on to detail major vulnerabilities in the rapidly expanding universe of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, citing the Mirai botnet and the DDoS attacks associated with it as “the biggest security event of 2016.” As the number of devices in the workplace continues to rise, it underscores the need for companies to re-evaluate their IoT deployment strategies and find ways to ensure devices are securely configured, managed and monitored. Running anti-malware on your devices, keeping software and operating systems updated, and training employees to follow carefully crafted mobile device policies and procedures are all critical for a successful comprehensive mobile strategy.

If the statistics from the Nokia Threat Intelligence Report aren’t staggering enough, it’s important to remember that these findings echo those from Kaspersky Lab, which reported in February of this year that the number of malicious installation packages in 2016 reached more than 8.5 million — three times more than the year before. That report also found that ransomware and IoT attacks continue to rise.

Don’t wait until an employee’s mobile device has been compromised and your business is put in jeopardy. Take proactive measures at addressing these mobile security risks with the help of a team of trusted experts. Contact us today to get started.

The Nokia Threat Intelligence Report aggregates data from deployments of the Nokia NetGuard Endpoint Security (NES) network-based anti-malware solution. NES analyzes traffic patterns from within service provider networks for evidence of malware infections in more than 100 million devices worldwide, including mobile phones, laptops, notepads and a broad range of IoT devices.