Smartphone Security: The Power of Small, Smart… and Safe

Last updated: 19 March 2014

Smartphones are spreading like wildfire, with Australia, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all boasting smartphone adoption rates above 50% and, according to Nielsen in February 2012, almost half of all US mobile subscribers now also own smartphones – an increase of 38% compared with 2011. Smartphones are fast replacing feature phones and this is no surprise as consumers enjoy the power and freedom of having a computer in the palm of their hands. However, like any computer, there are security risks!

We have blogged about this previously, talking about mobile security on a personal level, showing how data theft can be restricted with a unique IMEI (Internal Mobile Equipment Identity), and when discussing the rising trend of Bring Your Own Technology to work and how mobile security ranks more importantly than social media or cloud computing.

Recent research from Gartner also positions mobile security as a top concern for enterprises, and yet more and more companies are introducing BYOD policies (as our global CIO research shows) leading to ever increasing numbers of mobile devices and tablets being used to access sensitive data and potentially breach security measures.

We hope that awareness levels are increasing, leading to more security policies being implemented. But how well is happening globally? According to Tony Poulos of Telecom Asia, “the mobile industry in South-East Asia has grown exponentially in the last decade.” Which means that security issues are no doubt also on the rise in the same region and awareness levels need to be raised across Asia too.

Mobile device security solutions exist and we will be blogging about further developments in this space at a couple of events in July we are hosting – ‘Leveraging GlobalPlatform Specifications to Develop Secure Applications on Mobile Devices’ – taking place in Tokyo and Beijing. Let us know if you agree that mobile device security is one of the most important issues facing enterprises, operators and consumers alike. It will be interesting to find out what else we can do with small, smart devices, once they are made secure.

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