Threats to Mobile Devices Triple Over the Last Year

avatar-user Ava Reynolds 2024-05-24
blog image

In today's rapidly changing digital environment, safeguarding mobile devices has become critically important. Recent findings from Lookout highlight a significant rise in mobile threats. The comprehensive Lookout Mobile Threat Landscape Report, based on data collected from more than 220 million devices and 325 million apps, indicates that mobile threats have tripled over the last year. This alarming increase encompasses various threats such as phishing, malicious software, deny-listed, and offensive links targeting mobile devices, underscoring the need for heightened vigilance among both individuals and organizations.

Analyzing the Data

The Lookout Mobile Threat Landscape Report is a comprehensive analysis of data derived from the Lookout Security Cloud. This cloud-based service scrutinizes data from more than 220 million devices and 325 million apps, along with billions of web items. By leveraging this vast amount of data, Lookout can identify trends and emerging threats in the mobile security landscape. The report highlights several key findings that underscore the growing risks associated with mobile device usage.

Outdated Versions: A Significant Vulnerability

One of the most concerning revelations from the report is that more than 20 percent of iOS users continue to use outdated versions of the operating system. This situation exposes their devices and personal data to potential security breaches. Regularly updating devices to the latest software versions is crucial for minimizing security vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, the report shows that a significant number of users are overlooking this fundamental yet vital practice.

Additionally, the report identifies the top device misconfigurations across all devices. These include outdated OS versions (37.7 percent), no device lock (14.2 percent), out-of-date Android Security Patch Levels (ASPL) (13.6 percent), and non-app store signer (2.2 percent). Each of these misconfigurations presents a unique risk, making it easier for attackers to compromise mobile devices.

Common Mobile App Vulnerabilities

The report also sheds light on the top ten most common mobile app vulnerabilities encountered by users in the first quarter of 2024. Notably, all of these vulnerabilities are found in components of mobile browsers. Attackers exploit these vulnerabilities by creating maliciously crafted web pages, which are then delivered via links. Given that most mobile devices run popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge, it is crucial for users to ensure their browsers are regularly updated to patched versions.

David Richardson, vice president of endpoint and threat intelligence at Lookout, emphasizes the importance of addressing these vulnerabilities. He states, "Reflecting on the first quarter of 2024, this report encapsulates our discoveries, affirming that mobile threats have shifted from the sidelines to the forefront of contemporary cybersecurity strategies. Organizations must be equipped to respond swiftly to meet the rapid nature of today's threats. In navigating this landscape, Lookout is unrivaled in understanding the nuances of mobile security and how mobile attacks lead to organizations being compromised."

Survey Insights from CISOs and Cybersecurity Leaders

To further understand the impact of mobile threats on organizations, Lookout conducted a survey in April among 250 US-based CISOs and cybersecurity leaders. The survey results reveal a high level of concern regarding mobile security. A staggering 97 percent of respondents believe that malicious mobile apps or extensive mobile app permissions pose a threat to their organization and could lead to the leakage of sensitive data.

The survey also reveals that in the last six months, three-quarters of organizations faced mobile phishing attempts directed at their employees. This figure emphasizes the widespread nature of phishing attacks and the critical necessity for strong security measures to guard against these threats.

The Importance of Vigilance and Preparedness

The Lookout Mobile Threat Landscape Report, along with feedback from CISOs and cybersecurity experts, highlights a crucial trend: mobile threats are escalating, requiring organizations to be ready to act quickly and efficiently. The surge in phishing attempts, malicious content, deny-listed, and offensive links sent to mobile devices calls for a proactive stance on mobile security.

Organizations should focus on regularly updating their devices and software, enforcing robust security settings, and training employees on the potential risks linked to mobile device usage. By implementing these measures, organizations can lessen their exposure to mobile threats and safeguard their sensitive information from possible breaches.


In summary, the Lookout Mobile Threat Landscape Report reveals a notable surge in mobile device threats over the past year. The escalation in phishing attempts, harmful links, deny-listed URLs, and offensive content underscores the need for individuals and organizations to maintain a vigilant and proactive stance on mobile security. Regularly updating devices, correcting common misconfigurations, and staying informed about emerging threats are crucial measures to mitigate risks associated with mobile device usage. As the digital environment continues to transform, our strategies to protect mobile devices and the sensitive data they store must also adapt accordingly.

Latest posts

See more