Mobile Security Alert!
It was reported by the BBC today that: a Northern Ireland policewoman's lost mobile phone, containing hundreds of photos and operational details has fallen into the hands of dissident republicans, which was later handed over to the Irish News by the republican group Oglaigh na hEireann. It was also reported that the phone contained photographs of the officer and her colleagues (on and off duty) along with details of police operations and text messages revealing the officer's movements, working hours and family commitments. There have been concerns raised regarding the use of mobile devices by police resulting in breaches of security. Also, last week, the hacking network Anonymous - released a recording of a conference call between the FBI and UK police in which they discuss efforts against hackers along with a set of hacked emails. We at Juniper Research believe that these high-profile security alerts are heightening the public’s awareness of this growing issue - especially regarding mobile security. Mobile security is equally important for consumers – who use their mobile devices for email, instant messaging, mobile banking, payments and social networking and for enterprise users – who use them for company system access, corporate emails, contacts and other sensitive data. As we discussed in one of our recent reports on Mobile Security, while the mobile environment has continued to be successful in eluding the wide spread threats and attacks faced by the PC world, it is becoming both more appealing to cyber criminals and is inherently vulnerable to other security issues such as malware and spyware attacks. As evident from these recent incidents, device protection needs to be tailored according to the degree a given risk poses to each environment. It is also important to note that the degree of risk in the mobile environment will have an effect on the extent to which that threat is present. Thus, although the threat posed by malware to the mobile handset is likely to be less, the need for protection will be driven by threat of data loss and theft.