Since its inception, “antivirus” has been the shorthand term for solutions designed to prevent cyberattacks against endpoints from laptops to servers. On traditional endpoints (e.g., Windows, Linux), this lexicon has been fairly accurate since “viruses” (or their related cousins like worms, remote access trojans, etc.) were the primary threats. On those operating systems, applications have been allowed to interact with other applications. While this was useful for security applications like antivirus because they could neutralize or remove malicious applications, the malicious applications could also move laterally into other applications to create havoc and avoid detection.
The majority of “endpoints” accessing corporate data and networks are now mobile devices. As a result, the shorthand some use to describe the needed endpoint protection is “mobile antivirus”. Is the term correct, or should it be the broader terms of “mobile security” or Gartner’s “mobile threat defense”? For simplicity, we will refer to solutions as “mobile antivirus”. Regardless of terms, here are the top five facts security professionals need to know about mobile antivirus.