According to GSMA Intelligence, the number of mobile devices in the world – 7.22 billion – surpassed the number of people in the world nearly two years ago. Mobile devices are also multiplying five times faster than humans.


Although mobile devices are now considered indispensable business tools for their ability to drive productivity, most smartphones and tablets were designed for consumer use. The emergence of bring-your-own-device policies has caused a massive influx of consumer devices into business environments. The problem is that these mobile devices, like most consumer-grade technology, lack robust security.

This lack of protection has made mobile devices prime targets for criminals looking to slip through a crack into a corporate network. Mobile malware, after years of taking a backseat to desktop PC threats, is now keeping IT managers and security experts up at night.

Ransomware is malware that encrypts or blocks access to data and demands a ransom payment to have this data restored. Already found in 93 percent of phishing emails, according to a report from PhishMe, ransomware has recently been showing up in mobile apps. In fact, Google Play has been forced to pull hundreds of apps because of security concerns that are often tied to malware. Even Apple’s iOS has proven vulnerable to mobile malware. As a result, organizations are beginning to develop more sophisticated endpoint security strategies.

Endpoint security refers to the tools and processes related to securing endpoint devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and even desktop PCs, that remotely access a network. Endpoint security includes software that is centrally managed and accessed on a network server, as well as client software that is installed on each endpoint. All logins from endpoints are authenticated by the endpoint security software, which typically includes antivirus software, a firewall, encryption, intrusion prevention and other features.

Palo Alto Networks recently announced the addition of new functionality to Traps 3.4, the latest version of the company’s advanced endpoint protection solution. Part of the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform, Traps combines the most effective, purpose-built methods for detecting malware and exploits to stop known and never-before-seen malware before an endpoint is compromised. Traps reduces reliance upon legacy antivirus products for endpoint protection.

Traps shares threat intelligence with Palo Alto Networks WildFire, the company’s cloud-based malware analysis environment. This information is then used to block endpoint threats in real time, regardless of where the threat originated. New functionality available in Traps 3.4 includes:

  • Machine Learning. Hundreds of characteristics are analyzed to determine if a file is malware. Machine learning makes it possible to accurately detect unknown threats and determine if a file is safe before receiving confirmation from WildFire threat intelligence.
  • Trusted Publisher Identification. New, executable files from trusted software publishers can be automatically identified and allowed to run, which reduces delays caused by unnecessary analysis.
  • Quarantine of Malicious Files. Dangerous files are immediately removed to prevent spreading and attempted executions.
  • Grayware Classification. Some software isn’t malicious, but you still don’t want it running on your network. Traps can block this kind of software.

The rise of mobile malware means it’s time to get serious about endpoint security. Let Sigma Solutions show you how the Traps solution from Palo Alto Networks closes off potential entry points to keep threats away from your network.

by Allan Doehler