Just 1.2 percent of Android phones have the most up-to-date version of the operating system installed.
According to Promon, these figures clearly indicate just how inconsistently security fixes are implemented across Android devices and how assuming that the operating system alone can keep apps safe is a naïve approach.
The latest version of the Android OS is 7.1.1, released in December.
Despite this, over 50 percent of devices run operating systems that are more than two years old. Despite being released in November 2014 and October 2015, Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 are installed on 32.9 percent of devices and Marshmallow 6.0 is installed on 30.7 percent of devices – making them the most popular versions of the Android operating system.
The delay in the implementation of updates means millions of Android users have devices still containing security flaws that should have been eliminated long ago.
Lars Lunde Birkeland, head of communication at Promon, commented: “These latest figures are a stark reminder that things aren't getting any better when it comes to rolling out the most secure versions of Android.
“The proliferation of Android devices and manufacturers means that controlling what OS is present on every device is an impossible task. As a result, businesses and app developers shouldn't be spending time waiting for this issue to be remedied by individual device manufacturers.”
Birkeland says it is now more important than ever for organisations to take their steps to secure their apps to minimise the potential impact of a data breach. “Organisations need to prioritise the training and hiring of talented cyber-security specialists who are experts in the workings of the mobile channel.”