Android security: an analysis

Android devices dominate the market, making them a target for crime. But just how secure are Android smartphones in 2017?

Generally speaking, when it comes to being as secure as possible (and, just as importantly, staying as secure as possible) newer is better. This is certainly the case if we are talking mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS.

As of the start of March 2017, according to Apple’s own metrics some 79% of Apple mobile devices are using the latest iOS 10. Pretty good rates of adoption considering this version of the OS is only six months old.

Now compare that to Google’s official figures which reveal that as of March 2017 just 0.3% of Android devices are using the very latest ‘Nougat’ Android 7.1 version of the OS. Even if we fold in the numbers using the initial Nougat release, Android 7.0, the total barely scrapes over the 1% usage number at 1.2% to be precise.

Being really liberal with my interpretation of ‘latest’ and ‘most secure’ operating system versions for Android, which means I also fold the Marshmallow Android 6.0 version into the mix (and that has been around since December 2015 remember) it cannot manage to get up to even a third, sitting at 31.9% in total. That number is, from a security analyst perspective, truly shocking.

But not surprising.

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