Eighty percent of smartphones will remain unprotected throughout 2013 despite growing consumer awareness of mobile security products, according to a new survey.The Juniper Research report, Mobile Security: BYOD, mCommerce, Consumer & Enterprise 2013-2018, found that just 325 million mobile devices have security software installed currently.
This low level adoption of security software can be attributed to a number of factors, Juniper claims, including low consumer awareness about online attacks on mobile devices and a widespread consumer perception that the price of security products is excessive.
Security risks are on the rise due to 'a surge' in mobile malware over the last two years, according to the research house.
Data from security software company Trend Micro found that there will be more than one million malwares on the market by the end of this year.
In July, for example, a new vulnerability was discovered that could affect every single Android smartphone that has been released since Android 1.6 'Donut' debuted in 2009 - roughly 900 million smartphones.
However, Alcatel-Lucent data between April and June revealed just 0.5 percent of mobile devices were infected with malware and that had not increased during the previous 12 months.
Device manufacturers and security vendors need to strike a balance between security and user-friendliness if they are to improve take up of security products, Juniper said.
The number of mobile devices with security software installed will rise to 1.3 billion over the next five years, it added.
In the enterprise space, increased IT budgets and greater implementation of security policies is driving growth in mobile security products.
However, the trend towards BYOD (bring-your-own-device) is making it more important for firms to have a joint perspective on mobile risk.