Blacklisted Mobile Apps Increase by 20% in Q2 2019

The use of mobile apps has been on an upward trend over the last few years. The global spending in 2018 was $101 Billion and expected to reach higher levels in 2019. Despite the convenience and ease of use, mobile devices and applications suffer from a wide range of security vulnerabilities. More and more businesses are increasingly incorporating mobile computing into their operations to improve production and user experience. Unfortunately, this also increases the attack surface and risk of attacks.

The traditional security solutions do cannot protect most of these devices, because the admins have no control over what users install in their phones neither can they enforce security measures on devices they do not own. Other risks include stolen or lost devices in which criminals can use to gain access to corporate networks. The lack of control and visibility by the security teams is a major challenge.

The number of apps released has increased tremendously, and so are the downloads. Most often, the apps lack even the basic security controls and are a risk in them. Installing them into other phones exposes the users to increased risks and security vulnerabilities, including but not limited to private data theft, tracking by criminals, and others.

There has been a 20% spike in the number of apps blacklisted by RiskIQ in the 2nd quarter compared to those in the previous period. This accounts for over 2% of the apps that RiskIQ’ has blacklisted.

Other 2019 Q2 key highlights include

  • Percentage of blacklisted apps compared to the total count increased from 1.95 to 2.1%
  • There was an 11% increase in the number of apps downloaded in the 2nd quarter. This translates to 2,554,616 apps.
  • Despite the 20% spike in blacklisted apps, there was a 59% decrease in the overall number of apps currently in the Google Play Store blacklist.