Mobile operators are viewed by their customers as primarily responsible for protection against various security challenges. Therefore, they are partnering with software vendors to provide security services of malware protection and fraud.
In the document ‘Mobile Operators’ Consumer Mobile Security Strategies‘, Informa Telecoms & Media shows the current trend towards the creation of partnerships between mobile operators and providers of security software to provide customers with capabilities such as parental control and protection against challenges such as malware, phishing, fraud, spam and lost or stolen devices. Example of this are the partnerships developed by operators such as Vodafone, Orange and Telefonica with companies like McAfee, Lookout Mobile Security and F-Secure in multiple markets.
“The growing penetration of smartphones and mobile broadband has led to the situation where subscribers are finding themselves at risk from a range of potential threats, particularly smartphone subscribers with Android devices,” said the report’s author, Pamela Clark-Dickson, senior analyst, Mobile Content and Applications at Informa Telecoms & Media.
Android-based devices were forecast to comprise the highest share of the 1.02 billion smartphones sold globally in 2013, at 63%, or 643.6 million devices, according to Informa’s Future Mobile Handsets Interactive Forecast Tool, 2012-2018 (August 2013). Hackers inevitably target exploits at the widest possible addressable market, and Android is doubly a target because it is based on an open-standards operating system, which makes it easier for hackers to penetrate.
The increased exposure of mobile is due to multiple factors, such as the growing tendency among users to install apps on their devices, and some of them contain malware source. Furthermore consumers increasingly store sensitive data on their smartphones, as details on payments, which could potentially unauthorized third party access and use them to commit theft or fraudulent actions.
Against this background, the mobile operators are considering the provision of security services as part of their corporate social responsibility programs. For example, Orange has recently signed an agreement with Symantec to protect children from Internet risks. In general, mobile operators provide these security services in two modes: a free package that includes basic protection and a premium version with more advanced protection for a small monthly fee.
The distributors of mobile phones are now beginning to identify security as an opportunity to ally with suppliers in this market. For example, Cellular Connection, retailers of Verizon Wireless in the U.S., has joined NQ Mobile to provide customers with the operator of parental control software and antivirus.
Written by Lilian Gellibrand. Source Mobile Commerce Insider.