Risks of preinstalled smartphone malware in a BYOD environment

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has been growing for many years, but the wider adoption of a remote or hybrid workforce in a post-COVID world may create an influx of personal smartphones connecting to the corporate networks. Many companies are embracing flexible workplaces — using cloud applications to enable their employees to work from anywhere, on any device. But is allowing any device to connect to your sensitive corporate resources really a good idea? 

Considering the growing trend of preinstalled malware and other evolving threats, it may be time to examine your current BYOD policies and evaluate the new risks.

Android malware: A thorn in IT’s side

The iOS ecosystem is far from safe when it comes to malware. But Android malware is especially worrisome for IT teams, not only because of the Android OS proliferation but due to more relaxed security controls, despite Google’s increased efforts to improve them in recent years. 

About a quarter of infected devices (including Windows/PCs, iOS and IoT) run on Android OS, according to Nokia’s 2020 threat intelligence report. And according to a Google security engineer, at one point Google identified 7.4 million Android phones infected with malware.

Why should you worry about Android

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