Over the last decade, the number of people using tablets and mobile mobile devices over desktop computers has increased at a staggering rate–meaning more people are spending time on their handhelds than sitting in front of a computer to browse the web.
Because of this, cybersecurity threats on mobile devices is also–inevitably–on the rise. By 2025, Cybersecurity Ventures expects that Wi-Fi and mobile devices will amount to roughly 80 percent of IP traffic. In addition to that, Cybersecurity Venture states that bring your own device (BYOD) and mobile apps will “pose a major security threat to the enterprise” between now and 2025.
With both an increase in our use of handheld devices and security threats to them over the next several years, here the Investing News Network (INN) provides a brief overview as to what is “mobile security investing?” for investor interest.
What is mobile security?
The first order of business as to what is mobile security investing is understanding, of course, what mobile security is, first.
Putting it simply, mobile security works the same as cybersecurity software does on our desktops–but on our mobile devices. In other words, mobile security protects smartphones, tablets and other portable devices that connect to the internet from harmful threats. Those can range from malware and other vulnerabilities tied with wireless computing–otherwise known as wireless security.
That said, according to Norton when a smartphone device gets hacked it isn’t just tied to the phone: it can spread onto a desktop if the smartphone is backed up onto a computer. The company identifies common mobile threats as the following:
- Madware and spyware: Madware is a script or a program installed onto a phone without you even knowing it, and collects data for advertising purposes. Spyware is often linked to Madware, and collects data based on your internet use to provide to a third party. It also collects information based on your location, internet usage and the contacts in your address book;
- Viruses and trojans: These threats are somewhat tricky to detect because often they are l inked to what one might think is a legitimate program or website and can even hack your banking information;
- Drive-By downloads: This type of threat is attributed to malware installed on a computer without one’s consent or with “dubious” consent. Norton states if someone has visited a suspicious website or opened the wrong kind of email, this opens you up to a drive-by download that automatically installs malware onto your device;
- Browser exploits: In short, browser exploits simply take advantage of known security flaws in your mobile internet browser, and also work in tandem through Flash and PDF readers;
- Phishing apps: Finally, phishing apps are designed as a copy cat to a real website that use information you automatically input.
So, how are these kinds of harmful attacks kept at bay?
Preventative measures range from: keeping software updated, internet security for mobile devices, firewall protection (yes–even for mobile devices), having a secure password on your phone, and downloading apps from only the official app store for your particular mobile device.
Mobile security market outlook
Looking ahead to the future, we know that cybersecurity threats–whether it’s desktop or mobile device related–aren’t going away anytime soon.
According to a Markets and Markets Research report called “Mobile Application Security Market by Solution (Antivirus & Antitheft, Data Recovery and Others), Deployment Type (Cloud & On Premise), User Type, Industry Vertical (BFSI, Healthcare & Others) and by Region – Global Forecast to 2020,” the mobile application security market is poised to reach $2.53 billion by 2020, and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.7 percent.
Fueling that growth, the report says, will be a rising demand for security solutions offering protection against web-based malware. That said, the rising number of people using BYOD and personal devices has also lead to the usage of mobile application security, particularly as it relates to organizations and the workplace.
Adding to that, a Grandview Research report projects the application security market will reach a staggering $10.7 billion by 2025, with dynamic application security testing (DAST) to”significantly contribute” to that growth at over $4 billion by 2025.
Ways to invest
Finally–there are, of course, a number of public companies putting forth their best cybersecurity–and mobile security–efforts to tackle these issues at hand.
Some companies for investor consideration include:
- MobileIron (NASDAQ:MOBL): As the name suggests, MobileIron provides mobile information technology platforms to manage and secure mobile applications, content and devices. Its MobileIron platform combines security and enterprise mobility management as well as mobile device management, mobile application management, and mobile content management capabilities.
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC): While not directly a mobile security company, Symantec is well known for its threat protection, information protection and cybersecurity services that stretch to mobile platforms as well. The company offers advanced threat protection, endpoint protection, endpoint protection cloud, IT management suite, email security, cloud and data center security, as well as cloud workload products.
- Trent Micro (OTCMKTS:TMICY): Similar to Symantec, Trend Micro’s services are for desktop and mobile devices. The company develops sale of security software for computers and the internet, and provides server security, cloud security, and small business security. For individual consumers, the company provides products such as Featured, PC Security, Mac Security, Mobile Device Solutions and Password Manager.
- VMware (NYSE:VM): Finally, VMware is a data solutions company, but also provides a wide range of security services under its Networking & Security product platform, including: NSX, NSX Cloud, AppDefense, and vRealize Network Insight.
In sum, there’s no ignoring cybersecurity and mobile security threats as the shift to handheld devices continues growing. But, investors can surely take comfort in knowing there’s no shortage of opportunities in this industry that will no doubt strengthen anyone’s investment portfolio. Why? Because the need for mobile security will only continue growing–meaning more companies will be keen to rise to the challenge and meet those demands.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.