Fortinet: Android Malware is Prevalent, But Users are Lax

Fortinet: Android Malware is Prevalent, But Users are Lax

Network Security company Fortinet released findings from several studies that found malware is on the rise, while many Internet users aren't vigilant when it comes to protecting personal information. Now, the company has unveiled a new security operating system to work in tandem with several new enterprise security appliances.

New research from Fortinet (FTNT) has found that while the likelihood of Internet users attracting the attention of malicious software is on the rise, many individuals aren’t taking proper measures to ensure their online safety. The security vendor has responded to the findings by upgrading its Next Generation Firewall as a means for preventing enterprise users from falling victim to harm from cyberthreats.

The news was announced in a series of press releases issued by Fortinet, which studied the privacy habits of Generation X users and Millennials in addition to trends in malware and cyber security breaches last year. FortiGuard’s threat landscape report, which documented malware reports between January and December of 2013, found that 96.5 percent of all mobile malware is Android-based.

Fortinet found that the ZeuS Trojan remained the top most invasive piece of malware last year, with more than 20 million attempted infections recorded on Fortinet’s protected networks. The United States fell victim to the most cyberattacks, with 55.69 percent of malware targeting U.S. users.

And while hackers continue to come up with new and inventive ways to steal personal information and financials, many users either don’t know or don’t care enough about their Internet privacy to do much about it. In a separate survey, which polled 300 U.S. Millennials and Gen-X users, Fortinet found that 41 percent of respondents never change their online passwords or only change them when prompted. And only 57 percent of respondents said that they use a password to access their phone. However, respondents agreed that social security numbers and online passwords remained some of the most important pieces of data that they were afraid of losing.

According to Fortinet, its next-gen firewall will protect enterprise users from the increasing amount of malware on the Internet by releasing the company’s FortiOS 5 operating system, which will further improve the FortiGate security platform. The company also announced a slew of new enterprise-grade security appliances for use with its new operating system, including the FortiAuthenticator-1000D.

“Enterprises today are clamoring for improved network visibility that includes deeper packet inspection and granular control over network access, traffic, content and use, and they want it without introducing bottlenecks into the real-world traffic flow,” said John Maddison, vice president of Marketing for Fortinet in a prepared statement. “Today, Fortinet extends that capability with advanced threat protection and authentication, all from a single vendor and all orchestrated through a single management console.”

When Fortinet’s latest findings are paired with recent study results that found many companies lack bring your own device (BYOD) security for mobile phones and tablets, we start to see a disturbing trend of organizations unprepared for the security risks that could be coming their way. Perhaps the answer lies not just in getting companies to purchase more expansive enterprise firewalls, but also in educating their employees as to proper practices, especially with mobile devices used in the workplace.

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