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Android’s Biggest Challenge Is Security

by anonymous

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Many reports have highlighted the rapidly growing popularity of Android among the users and developers. Some reports even indicate that Google Play may supersede Apple App Store within a very short span of time. But as an open source platform, Android fails to beat iOS in terms of mobile device security. The security threats to Android exist in the mobile operating system, as well as with the ecosystem used to distribute the applications.

Some analysts even compare Android with Microsoft Windows. Being a widely used computer operating system, Windows has become a more lucrative target for virus and malware attacks. Similarly, the huge popularity of Android has also make it prone to several types of security attacks. With security attacks against the Google mobile operating system is increasing rapidly, it has become essential for the company to keep it secure from all types of malware and virus attacks.

What Makes Android Prone to Various Types of Security Threats?

  • Fragmented Versions of the Operating System: Many analysts have stated that Android is fragmented at the mobile operating system level. Each device maker and app developer has option to choose from a several versions of the mobile operating system. Further, the device makes customize the Android version to fit their mobile devices. So it becomes difficult to incorporate built-in security features to each customized version of the operating system. However, Google has added a number of security features to Android 4.x or Ice Cream Sandwich to counter the security attacks. But the devices using earlier versions of Android are still prone to the malware attacks.

  • Loads of Malicious Apps: Most developers find it easier to develop apps by targeting Android as it is an open source platform. But According to a report, a rapid increase is noted in the number of malicious application designed specifically to target the mobile operating system. To quote from the report, “If Trend Micro is forecasting the numbers correctly, it won't be a flu epidemic you'll be worried about come winter: it'll be an Android malware pandemic. Google Play has also been used as a platform to distribute malicious data-stealing or privacy-infringing apps -- arguably the source of many of the malicious apps.” So it has become essential for Google to remove the existing malicious apps, along with taking preventing measures to stop the developments and distribution of such apps in future.

  • Unsafe Web Browsers: Each user has his favorite web browser. Most users also access a variety of mobile web browsers on their Android device. But many analysts have already shown that the mobile web browsers are vulnerable to security threats. Some mobile web browser flaws can even allow hackers to access the user data store on SD memory cards. Also, users often fail to identify the malicious websites. So they often access these websites on their mobile web browser by compromising the security of the information stored on their devices. Google must check the mobile web browsers thoroughly to avoid these security threats.

  • Lack of Hardware Data Encryption: The security threat to Android can also be attributed to the lack of adequate hardware data encryption. Most mobile device manufacturers customize a specific version of the mobile operating system to fit their needs. But they often ignore the significance of hardware data encryption. Google has included an API in Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) that enables the manufacturers to offer encryption. The existing versions of Android are still ineffective in encrypting the hardware data on their own. So it has become essential for device manufacturers to use self-encrypted apps to secure the personal information of users along with their emails and contacts.

  • Passwords Accessible to Apps: Most users save their password in the default browser to login immediately in future. But the password store in the default mobile web browser can be stolen by hackers through cookies. Further, the password can be accessed by any other app installed on the user’s device. As Google cannot ask the users not to store passwords in default browser, it has to ensure that the web browser is keeping the passwords encrypted, secure and inaccessible.

  • Fake Anti-Virus Software: Many users install anti-virus software on their mobile devices to prevent security attacks. Some of these software applications are being identified and removed by Google. But the software can be downloaded from some third-party websites. Most of these applications look like authentic tools launched by Google. So, users often fail to identify the trick used by hackers to exploit their emotions like fear. They often install such apps thinking these to be legitimate, and end up compromising the security of their sensitive data. Google must create awareness among Android device users to identify the genuine anti-virus software by reading user reviews and evaluating the seller’s credibility.

Google has tried to overcome the security concerns by including advanced features in the latest version of Android. But with many users still using older versions of the mobile operating system, security is still one of the biggest challenges to overcome while doing android app development.

If you want to hire android app developers for your mobile app development projects, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.

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