Home News 2018 Year in Review Report Shows Android Security Patch Downloads Increased Significantly

2018 Year in Review Report Shows Android Security Patch Downloads Increased Significantly

Apr 1, 2019

The new 2018 Year in Review report has been published by Google. These reports have been published for the past five years and it’s mostly focused on Android security. It’s a great report to read to see where consumers are at with security issues. This report also allows you to see what Google is doing to fix them. In the new report, the biggest change Google reported is that more people than ever are now downloading the Android security patch.

In Q4 of 2018, the Android security patch downloads increased by 84 percent. This is a big deal in the world of Android security. The monthly patches are what helps fix various vulnerabilities found in the operating system. We have all of the newest details about the 2018 Year in Review report. Keep reading to learn more including information on the security patch downloads.

2018 Year in Review Focuses on Android Security & Significant Security Patch Download Increases

Every year since 2014, we have received a public report from Google called the Year in Review report. These reports are mostly focused on Android security and privacy. There are a lot of details on the efforts Google is making to provide a safe and secure Android platform. In the Year in Review report for 2018, it shows just how Google is aiming to improve both security and privacy concerns on Android.

New security enhancements are part of the 2018 Year in Review report, which is coinciding with the 10-year anniversary of Android itself. Statistics shown in the newest report are focused on transparency, layered security, and the Backed by Google strategy. There are a lot of statistics that are shown in this report that relate to malicious apps and what Google is doing to prevent these apps from being installed on an Android device.

Google Play Protect Importance Highlighted in 2018 Year in Review Report

One important aspect of the 2018 Year in Review report was that it highlighted just how Google Play Protect has helped protect Android devices. The new report is showing that only .08% of devices were impacted by Potentially Harmful Applications from installed apps through the Google Play Store.

Potentially Harmful Applications, also known as PHAs, can end up installing malware and other malicious software. Google Play Protect is scanning all of the apps that are on the Android device. This service works even if those apps were installed from somewhere else.

When looking closer at the report, if an app was downloaded from outside of Google Play Store, it was 8 times more likely to be affected by a PHA. That might seem high but that is 15% lower than the previous year. The reduction in PHAs shows that Google Play Protect is still helping protect the Android device. This is happening even when those apps were downloaded outside of Google Play Store. Google last year began tracking and labeling the click fraud applications as PHAs. This change accounted for a lot of the total installations.

Android Security Patch Downloads in Q2018 Jumped 84% in 2018 Year in Review Report

Another interesting part of the 2018 Year in Review report is that it showed an 84% jump in the number of Android security patch downloads from 2017. There are a lot of new agreements that helped this number increase significantly, including Android One, Android Enterprise Recommended, and Treble.

The new agreements with the original equipment manufacturers also helped increase this number substantially. This is great news because the more security patches that are downloaded overall, the more secure the Android operating system and Android device is individually.

Many different Pixel statistics were also found in this report, which is fairly detailed in nature. The report details how Made by Google devices were not successfully compromised due to exploits. Beyond that, Google ended up paying out more than $3 million in the Reward Program. This rewards program focuses on paying researchers money for finding vulnerabilities in Android.

This 2018 Year in Review report is showing just how far Google has gone to ensure that all Android devices are secure and safe. The report is something to check out because it really goes in-depth on the measures Google is taking. We even found details on steps Google will take in 2019 to bring more security to the Android ecosystem.

In the comments below, we want to know if you think Google is doing enough to make Android secure. Do you think Play Protect is helping protect against PHAs? What else do you hope Google will do to ensure that Android devices are secured in this open-source platform ecosystem?

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Nick Pike
Nick brings nearly 8 years of experience in mobile app development to the App Informers team. His knowledge in the inner workings of app development, marketing, and monetization add a unique perspective to the team.