Tumultuous Year Bred New Threats, But the App Ecosystem Got Safer
Each year, businesses invest more in mobile as the lifestyle of the average consumer becomes more mobile-centric. Mobile growth exploded in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic advancing mobile adoption "by at least two to three years". App Annie also shows that mobile spending grew to a staggering $143 billion in 2020, year over year growth of 20%.
This ravenous demand for mobile creates a massive proliferation of mobile apps. Users downloaded 218 billion apps in 2020 and spent more than $240 billion in app stores worldwide. However, this explosive growth in the mobile ecosystem yields an entire universe of "rogue apps" that aim to take advantage of a tumultuous year and our increased reliance on mobile.
With a proactive, store-first scanning mentality, RiskIQ observes and categorizes the threat landscape as a user would see it, monitoring both the well-known stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play and more than 120 secondary stores around the world.
This report will give a snapshot of 2020's mobile threat landscape and dive into emerging trends we anticipate carrying into 2021.
- Overall mobile apps available grew 33%
- RiskIQ's Internet Intelligence Graph cataloged 30% more apps in 2020 but noted only 102,312 blacklisted apps*, more than 67% fewer than in 2019
- Play store dropped an impressive 60% in 2020. We've found that blacklisted apps have now fallen in Google Play for two consecutive years
- Despite blacklisted apps falling 67%, blacklisted feral apps rose nearly 58%