‘Dead apps’ pose threat to BYOD

‘Dead apps’ pose threat to BYOD

Applications that have been updated or removed from official app stores could pose the biggest threat to mobile security, according to new research from security vendor Appthority.

One out every 20 apps on employee smartphones is 'dead', with that percentage reaching in 5.2 per cent on iOS apps and 3.9 per cent for Android.  

Every single enterprise participating in the Appthority survey had at least some form of 'dead app' on user devices.

There are a number of ways in which these apps can pose a threat to corporate systems, including the possibility that they may have been removed by app stores due to being insecure or containing malware.

What's more, if companies stand by their attempts to try and update apps that are now defunct, it leaves them open to attacks from third-parties, many of whom could hijack the update mechanism.  

Sometimes the problem can even be enhanced by the fact that app stores neglect to release any information about when or why apps were removed.

The report explained: “A concern with Dead Apps stems from the fact that that unlike other consumer product retailers and manufacturers, App Stores at large (Google Play, Apple App Store, Microsoft Windows Store) are under no obligation or regulatory requirements to notify users when they have revoked an app from their store. The reasons for the revocation can vary from copyright infringements to serious security/privacy concerns discovered after release of the app to the store.”

As well as 'dead apps', a number of employees also have outdated apps on their smartphones and tablets.

Research found that just over 37 per cent of all apps on iOS devices are yet to be updated by the user, while that number was down to 32 per cent for Android.