A recent Android mobile malware report by Kaspersky showed that Southeast Asia remains a target for cybercriminal attack campaigns. Of the more than 1 million attacks that Southeast Asia has seen, Kaspersky has blocked a total of 26,836 mobile malware attacks on Android users in Singapore for the period of January to September this year.
Amongst the Southeast Asian countries, Singapore saw the lowest number of mobile malware attacks on Android users. Indonesia saw the highest number of Android mobile malware attacks at 632,451 for this period, while Malaysia came in second at 188,846, the Philippines in third at 134,556, followed by Thailand and Vietnam at 57,056 and 53,097 respectively.
The report also found that there was an increase in the percentage of Android users protected by Kaspersky’s Internet Security (KIS) in Singapore from 7.57% in 2018 to 8.03% in 2019.
As our dependence on mobile devices grows, both for business users and consumers, cybercriminals are paying more attention to mobile devices as an attack vector. This emphasizes the importance of why businesses and consumers must be equipped with the appropriate knowledge and solutions to protect their mobile devices from being compromised.
“With Singapore being one of the most digitally savvy countries in the world, it comes as no surprise that the country occupies 10th place globally in terms of the percentage of users being protected by Kaspersky against mobile ransomware trojans. Although Android currently holds the largest mobile user-base market share of 59.69% in Singapore, Android attacks in Singapore have actually decreased in the last year according to our latest report. This signifies that most Singaporeans do indeed understand the importance of keeping their smart devices safe. However, one attack is still too many, especially when many personal devices are plugged into the network at word,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
“The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore’s recent report suggests that a sense of complacency seems to have taken root in our behavior – only 50% of respondents updated the software immediately in 2018, down from 55% in the previous year. While we continue to provide the latest updates to better safeguard users from the latest cyberthreats, it is equally important that everyone adopts a more vigilant approach to cybersecurity if we are to successfully build up the digital resilience of our nation,” he adds.
To protect your devices against any mobile malware attacks, Kaspersky recommends that businesses and consumers do the following:
- Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices. To bolster your mobile device’s cybersecurity defences, use Kaspersky Internet Security for Android (a free 30 days trial is available)
- Block the installation of programs from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings
- Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks
- Install system and application updates as soon as they are available — they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing). Application updates can only be installed through official app stores
- Ensure all gadgets with access to corporate networks and data have a security solution installed — ideally, one managed by a corporate administrator. If that is not possible, advise employees to install a home security solution at the very least. Do not grant access to unprotected devices.
- Ensure all confidential information on such smartphones, tablets, and laptops is stored in encrypted form. Modern mobile operating systems let users encrypt the entire phone or tablet. For reliable data encryption, use Kaspersky Small Office Security. That way, even if the device gets lost or stolen, the solution will prevent outsiders from gaining access to important data.
- Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud