business person monitoring cyber security

While most types of malware are designed to infect desktops, mobile malware is a growing risk that both individuals and business users face. As a large number of people are now using a smartphone or tablet as their primary computing device, cybercriminals have started innovating by creating malware that targets mobile devices specifically.

What Kind of Malware Can Infect Mobile Devices?

Malicious software (malware) has been around for several decades. Mobile malware is code that has been created to attack mobile devices, mostly smartphones and tablets. However, it can also infect other devices running mobile operating systems like Android, including TV set-top boxes and portable media players.

Just like with desktop malware, the malicious code is usually downloaded inadvertently onto the device. Once a device has been infected, hackers can exploit it in various ways, such as accessing the data stored on it or recording keystrokes. Here are the main types of malware that can infect mobile computing devices:


Trojan viruses are malware that has been disguised as software that is legitimate and useful. This can be a game or productivity app. Once the user runs the program, it opens up a back door that allows attackers to further compromise the device.


While ransomware has been around for quite some time, it has recently seen a surge in popularity, mainly due to the rise of anonymous payment solutions. It’s a type of malicious code that encrypts the data on a device and requires that the user pays a ransom in order to unlock it.

Ghost Pushes

This type of malware targets mobile deices by posing as legitimate software updates. Once the user agrees to download the update, the malicious code is “pushed” onto their device.


A keylogger is software that records all keystrokes on a device, which allows cybercriminals to steal sensitive information, like login credentials and credit card numbers.

Bank Trojans

Usually disguised as a legitimate banking or payment app, this kind of malware will attempt to steal the user’s banking information, such as passwords to online banking systems or e-wallets.


Adware is a type of malicious app that can track user activity and send it to advertising companies. It also often displays various ads and popups on the device.

How Can a Mobile Device Become Infected With Malware?

There are several ways that malware can use to make its way to a user’s device. Mobile devices usually become infected when a user downloads a malicious app that conceals malware. To prevent this, you should only download apps that you truly need and avoid downloading software from unofficial sources that aren’t part of your device’s app store.

It’s also a good idea never to download files included in email attachments from senders you don’t know or using public Wi-Fi networks to access the Internet.

How to Protect Yourself From Malware

Here are a few things that you can do to help keep your business data safe and prevent malware infections:

Apply Security Patches to Your Devices

Make sure you download the latest operating system updates and security patches to your mobile devices. This will help prevent malicious code from using known exploits and vulnerabilities.

Use Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication

Doing so will help keep your online accounts secure from hackers.

Consider Deploying Mobile Device Management Software

This is a solution that provides an additional layer of security for mobile devices used by your company, as it lets you remotely manage devices and restrict the types of apps that can run on them.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN helps keep your data secure and private, especially if you’re using a public Wi-Fi network. It encrypts all of the information that is exchanged between your device and the rest of the Internet.

Encrypt Sensitive Information

There are several encryption apps that can be used to lock down confidential business files. By using them, you can prevent cybercriminals from having access to the data if a device is lost, stolen or compromised by mobile malware.