Since 2014, Google is publishing an annual report focusing on the security of the Android platform and now, the 2018 edition has been available for several hours.
“Android Security & Privacy Year in Review 2018: Keeping two billion users, and their data, safe and sound” explains Google’s efforts in this area in detail and provides various statistics that show general improvement.
According to the Mountain View giant, only 0.8% of the devices that have installed apps exclusively from the Play Store have been affected by potentially harmful apps during 2018 and this important result was made possible thanks to Play Protect, a system that allows to scan all apps on an Android device regardless of the source of the installation.
Devices that have also installed apps outside the Play Store have instead been affected by potentially harmful applications 8 times more often, although they can still count on greater protection guaranteed by the Google Play Protect surveillance system.
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Also according to data released by Google, in 2018, 0.45% of all Android devices running Google Play Protect had installed potentially harmful applications, compared to 0.56% of PHA-affected devices in 2017. This equates to a 20% year-over-year improvement to the health of the Android ecosystem.
The system devised by the Mountain View giant has prevented 1.6 billion attempts to install potentially harmful apps outside of Google Play in 2018.
Another notable improvement is related to the number of devices that received a security update in the fourth quarter of 2018, with a growth of 84% compared to the previous year.
In terms of identifying vulnerabilities, Google has exceeded $3 million in payments of its reward program, with a special tool made available to smartphone manufacturers which has prevented 242 builds with PHAs from entering the ecosystem. You can find the full report by following this link.