What is Mobile Threat Defense (MTD)?

Mobile threat defense (MTD) is sophisticated, dynamic protection against cyber threats targeted against mobile devices. With MTD, protection is applied to devices, networks, and applications.

To save money and increase productivity, many businesses allow employees to use their personal devices for work. This is commonly referred to as a “Bring Your Own Device” policy, or BYOD for short.

If your company allows employees to use their personal mobile devices for work, your company network is at risk. Mobile Threat Defense is the only way to ensure mobile security for your business.

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What is Mobile Threat Defense (MTD)?

How Mobile Threat Defense Works

For Devices

On mobile devices, MTD applications monitor for threats by checking OS versions, system parameters, firmware, and device configurations to spot misconfigurations and other vulnerabilities. MTD solutions also continually scan for suspicious activity such as users gaining unauthorized access to the network through privilege escalation.


Mobile users are vulnerable to all kinds of attacks including malicious apps, phishing, and Man-in-the-Middle attacks.


For Networks

Applied to the network, MTD solutions monitor network traffic for suspicious activity. They can spot invalid and spoofed certificates as well as stripped security to stop Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

For Applications

MTD solutions analyze code and reverse engineer applications to spot grayware and malware.

Key Benefits of Implementing a Mobile Threat Defense Solution

  • Confidence employing a BYOD policy. With MTD solutions, you can be more confident about allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work purposes.
  • Faster response to threats. MTD will thwart attacks before they become serious problems.
  • Better visibility. With MTD, you’ll gain critical visibility into the risk level of the mobile workforce.
  • Regulatory compliance. Ensuring that sensitive data of the organization is safe regardless of where it sits.

The History of Mobile Threats

2004 – We saw the first mobile virus – a worm called “Cabir” – that targeted Symbian phones using the Bluetooth OBEX push protocol.

2009 – Two worms (“Ikee” and “Duh”) targeted jailbroken iPhones by leveraging a hard-coded password in sshd.

2010 – Android’s first piece of malware called “FakePlayer” generated money through sending SMS messages to Russia.

2011 – Google Play is attacked by a host of malicious apps.

2012 – An existing banking bot was adapted for Android and stole mobile transaction authentication data.

2013 – Android malware gets disguised as a real app by exploiting certificate validation.

2014 – Fake banking apps are installed on Android devices when connected to a compromised PC.

2015 – Another Android virus spammed phone contacts with messages containing a link to install malware disguised as an Amazon rewards app.

2016-2020 – Mobile attacks continue to evolve and grow in number and severity.

The Difference Between Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Threat Defense (MTD)

Most businesses have some form of mobile device management. However, that’s not the same as Mobile Threat Defense.


Mobile device management (MDM) supports employees and your company through security policies, but management tools don’t protect against cyber threats.


Mobile Threat Defense tools are security tools specifically designed to detect and protect mobile devices against cyber threats. They analyze application characteristics and respond to threats in real-time while providing visibility of the risk level of all devices connected to the network.

Mobile Security is No Longer an Option

MDM solutions are used for managing mobile devices. On the other hand, MTDs provide mobile security by preventing, detecting, and remediating sophisticated cyberattacks, using a variety of techniques on the device, network and application level. MTDs feed critical information to the UEM to help them enforce Zero Trust policies. Together, they can provide an integrated management, security and enforcement solution.


Sign up for a free MTD demo today to see how our market-leading Mobile Threat Defense solution can keep your company network secure.


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