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Google Rolls Out Play Protect Security Suite for Android Devices

Google has launched a mobile security suite that continuously works to keep Android devices, data and apps safe, according to the company.

The security suite, Google Play Protect, scans Android devices to ensure that end users can enjoy the latest in mobile security, Google said in a prepared statement.

Play Protect offers a variety of mobile security features, such as:

  • Find My Device: With Find My Device, a user can locate an Android device by signing into a Google account or call the device directly from a web browser.
  • Ongoing App Scanning: Play Protect scans billions of Android apps around the clock.
  • Safe Browsing: Safe Browsing protection in Chrome ensures that a user will receive a warning message if he or she visits a malicious website.

In addition, Play Protect secures Android devices by:

  • Running a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store before a user downloads them.
  • Checking an Android device for malware and other harmful apps.
  • Warning a user about any potentially harmful apps found on an Android device.
  • Removing known harmful apps from an Android device.

Play Protect is now available, and Android users can check the status of Play Protect on their devices from the Google Play Store app.

Judy Malware Infects Millions of Android Devices

The Google Android security offering comes at a key time, considering the ongoing threats facing the mobile operating system.

For instance, Check Point Software, an Israeli company that provides endpoint, mobile and network security products, in May released information about a new strain of Android malware.

The Android malware, dubbed "Judy," enables cybercriminals to generate large amounts of fraudulent clicks on advertisements to drive revenues, according to Check Point.

Judy was found on 41 apps and spread between 4.5 million and 18.5 million downloads, Check Point said in a prepared statement.

Check Point has notified Google about Judy, and affected apps have been removed from the Google Play Store, Check Point said.

Android Malware on the Rise

2016 was a record year for Android malware, which is reflected in research from antivirus and internet security solutions company ESET.

Android ransomware detection rose more than 50 percent increase in 2016, according to ESET.

Also, Android malware detection increased by about 20 percent last year, and this figure may continue to rise, ESET Chief Technology Officer Juraj Malcho said in a company statement.

"We are nowhere near saying that this threat will disappear anytime soon," Malcho stated.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.