Patterns in mobile Web use are changing, with BlackBerry on the decline and Apple, Facebook and Twitter rising.
Beleaguered BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion continues to struggle in the face of competition from Apple's iPhone and other handsets, even as mobile Web usage rises, according to cloud security specialist Zscaler's second-quarter "State of the Web" report. The study also found Facebook broke its five-quarter downward trend for enterprise traffic in the second quarter, increasing from 41 percent of Web application use in the first quarter to 42.25 percent in the second.
BlackBerry use fell precipitously from 11.82 percent in April to 7.7 percent in June. Apple's iOS continued to have the highest percentage of mobile traffic, rising from 52.7 percent of total mobile device use in April to 55.3 percent in June, followed by Google Android devices. The report, which looked at how users access the Web, what they do once there, and the security threats they face, also found Web application traffic made up about 5 percent of the overall traffic for the quarter, led by Facebook, Gmail, YouTube and Twitter.
While Facebook continues to dominate as the top "Web App," its usage has been trending downward for some time. The report noted this has been the first quarter in 12 months in which an increase in Facebook traffic has been observed from the previous quarter. Twitter, however, continued to show a steady rise in enterprise use, with transaction growth increasing from 7.4 percent per month in April to 7.5 percent in June.
More than half of Zscaler enterprise customer Web transactions continue to be driven from Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), while about 22 percent originate from Firefox and Safari. While the use of IE 6 and 7 decreased, use of IE versions 8 and 9 increased.
"We have continued to see a slight decline in IE usage and a slight increase in Safari usagerelated to the growing Apple market share," the report said. "Zscaler also continues to note about 20 percent of the Web transactions having non-browser user-agents (e.g., applications that communicate over the Web)."
Zscaler software allows businesses to set their own policies in terms of how and what is accessible on the Web, including the ability to enforce policies on social networking sites. Two categories of policy decisions make up about 84 percent of the Zscaler blocks enforced for the quarter: Website category blocks and rate-limiting blocks. The other 16 percent consisted of different types of blocks, such as instant messaging (IM) usage blocks, social networking blocks and botnet and malware blocks. On the security side, the report found Adobe Reader was the largest client-side vulnerable attack surface from enterprise customers for the quarter, with about 62 percent of Reader users running an outdated version, followed by the company's Shockwave plug-in, Java, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Outlook.
"As is often the case, many come in contact with malware by just doing normal activity on the Web, such as clicking on a top Google search result or visiting a known legitimate page," the report concluded. "Zscaler noted the return of Google search result pages being poisoned and redirecting to FakeAV malware or fraud sites, particularly at the start of the quarter. Throughout the quarter, Zscaler noted several prominent Websites that were compromised and hosting injections to malicious content."