A decade ago, mobile malware was considered a new and unlikely threat. Many mobile device users even considered themselves immune from such threats.\u00a0 Fast forward to 2017, and more than 1.5 million new incidents of mobile malware have been detected by McAfee Labs in the first quarter of the year alone \u2013 for a total of more than 16 million mobile malware incidents.Today, mobile devices are coming under increasing attack \u2013 and no one is immune. Some 20 percent of companies surveyed by Dimensional Research for Check Point Software said their mobile devices have been breached. A quarter of respondents didn\u2019t even know whether they\u2019ve experienced an attack. Nearly all (94 percent) expected the frequency of mobile attacks to increase, and 79 percent acknowledged that it\u2019s becoming more difficult to secure mobile devices.\u201cThey\u2019re starting now to become more aware of the possible impact,\u201d says Daniel Padon, mobile threat researcher at Check Point.\u00a0 \u201cReal, state-level malware and the capability of such malware, together with large campaigns affecting millions and millions of devices, such as Gooligan and Hummingbad, are just the tip of the iceberg.\u201d\u00a0While Apple and Android have made strides in creating more secure and robust operating systems, malicious actors continue to pump out new and more deceptive malware. What\u2019s more, security is still not a top priority in app design, with some apps allowing users to store or pass credentials in the clear or by using weak encryption. \u201cThat\u2019s still going on and it shouldn\u2019t be,\u201d says John Shier, senior security advisor at Sophos.Couple those weaknesses with the ubiquity of mobile devices in the workplace and the proliferation of BYOD policies, and you\u2019ve got the perfect recipe for mobile attacks on the enterprise.Almost half of information workers today are using bring-your-own laptops, 68 percent are using their own smart phones, and 69 percent are bringing their own tablets at work, according to Forrester\u2019s annual security survey. \u201cObviously, the risks are high, especially when you look at all the corporate data that\u2019s held on these devices, such as customer information, intellectual property, contracts, competitive data and invoices,\u201d not to mention the potential access to corporate networks themselves, says Chris Sherman, Forrester senior analyst.Mobile threat researchers identify five new threats to mobile device security that can impact the business.1.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Persistent, enterprise-class spywareEmployees use their mobile devices in nearly every aspect of their lives with mobile devices never more than arm\u2019s-length away. With such close proximity to corporate network access, voice activation and GPS tracking, state actors are looking at ways to infect mobile devices with spyware. The tactic has proven successful on both iOS and Android devices.[Related: How to cope when mobile app development goes rogue]Last August\u2019s Pegasus spyware, capable of hacking\u00a0any\u00a0iPad or iPhone to harvest data about and conduct surveillance on the victim, was just the beginning. Researchers also uncovered three iOS zero-day vulnerabilities that, when exploited, formed an attack chain that subverted even Apple\u2019s strong security environment. Apple quickly fixed all three Trident iOS vulnerabilities in its 9.3.5 patch.\u00a0By April 2017, malware authors struck again, this time on a Pegasus spyware version for Android that masquerades as a normal app download, while secretly gaining root access to a device to do broad surveillance on the user over time. Since then, Google has bolstered security measures, including Play Protect security within the Play Store.\u201cIf you\u2019re a nation state actor and you want to compromise a company, one possible route would be to compromise a mobile device that you know is going into a particular organization,\u201d Shier says. \u201cWe still have organizations that are allowing their mobile device to exist on the corporate network along with some of their other devices of higher value.\u201d2.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Mobile botnetsNew malware can quickly turn legions of mobile devices into a botnet that is controlled by hackers without the knowledge of their owners. The first mobile botnet targeting Android devices, dubbed Viking Horde, was revealed just over a year ago. Viking Horde created a botnet on any rooted or non-rooted device that uses proxied IP addresses to disguise ad clicks, generating revenue for the attacker. Since then malware researchers have identified about a dozen more mobile botnets, including Hummingbad, which infected over 10 million Android operating systems in mid-2016. User details were sold and advertisements are tapped on without the user's knowledge and in doing so generates fraudulent advertising revenue. IDG\u201cIn the beginning, we saw them used for adware purposes,\u201d Padon says. \u201cNow we\u2019ve seen them rooting millions of devices, with malware opening back doors on infected devices, which could potentially be used for any purpose, including stealing sensitive data.\u201dWhile mobile devices don\u2019t have the bandwidth and computational throughput as a desktop computer, botnet functions don\u2019t require a lot of compute power to pose a threat. What\u2019s more, mobile devices are often on all the time, which gives that botnet owner 24\/7 access to large numbers of potential zombie bots.3.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Ad and click fraudAd and click fraud in mobile devices is a growing concern, researchers say. \u201cCompromising that mobile device [through ad and click malware] would be a nice way for a criminal to gain access to the internal network of a company, possibly by sending an SMS phish, getting someone to click on a link where they download a malicious app, and then now that they\u2019re on the phone and can control it, they can steal credentials and gain access to the internal network,\u201d Shier says.The scary part, Padon says, is that \u201cthey start as adware, but they can just as easily decide to spread spyware to the entire botnet. Then you have 10 million devices that record their owners\u2019 every move.\u00a0 It has a devastating potential with just a click on the app,\u201d he says.4.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 IoTInternet of Things (IoT) malware is still in its infancy, but it hasn\u2019t stopped malware authors from making the jump, says Irfan Asrar, senior manager in mobile malware research at McAfee. \u201cThe number of [IoT malware] families out there is just 10, and most of them are just variations of the same code base, but we\u2019re starting to see in the underground sites that people are peddling mobile malware kits and are moving into the IoT arena,\u201d and many IoT devices are largely connected to and being configured by smart phones and devices, such as mobile entry into a building or through a checkpoint.\u201cWith targeted attack efforts, they are focused on getting to a destination,\u201d Asrar says. \u201cThey don\u2019t care what means they use \u2013 just the one with least resistance \u2013 and right now it\u2019s IoT where there\u2019s very little measures in place for security, and device manufacturers are just now beginning to follow some standards.\u201d5.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Dead appsEmployees need to check the status of their mobile apps regularly, and then update or delete them if they\u2019re no longer supported in Google or Apple stores, Asrar says. Security teams for both operating systems have been quietly removing an undisclosed number apps from their stores at a growing rate, but they haven\u2019t revealed a list of the removed apps or offered any reason for their removal, which can vary from malware issues to copyright infringement to the discovery that the app was leaking data to a third party. The lack of transparency could impact the enterprise because there is more sensitive data at stake by infiltrating enterprise networks, Asrar says.[Related: SandBlast Mobile simplifies mobile security]\u201cEspecially if you have an Android device, you will have at least a couple [apps] that were removed from the store, but they are still on your device,\u201d he says. \u201cYou probably don\u2019t want to hang on to them anymore.\u201dWhat can companies do?\u201cIt\u2019s really hard to protect your entire mobile network because it\u2019s so fragmented,\u201d Padon says.He recommends requiring that security software be installed on every mobile device. \u201cIt\u2019s one thing if your Candy Crush app downloads a simple update, but it\u2019s a completely different story if it downloads an update and then launches a malicious activity. This is exactly where Google and Apple lack control,\u201d he adds.User behavior awareness and training should also continue to evolve with the threats, mobile researchers say. \u201cIt\u2019s all about reducing risk,\u201d Shier adds, through encryption and visibility into all devices that have access to the network.