Keeping Up with the

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2006-04-18 Print this article Print

Attacks"> Taking a more proactive approach to mobile security may also help discourage handset hacks because there will be fewer opportunities for the first waves of attacks to cause serious problems, the executive said. The fact that most of todays mobile threats have been launched by so-called script kiddies, or hackers inspired more by the notion of making a name for themselves among fellow virus writers, and not by organized criminals, doesnt mean that more professional wireless malware code isnt already in the works, he said.

The emergence of applications such as eBays new PayPal Mobile wireless payment technology could also cause even more criminals to focus on the space.

There is already some evidence to suggest that the threat of mobile security issues is alarming some enterprise customers to the point where they are putting plans to utilize new wireless applications on hold. In a study published in March by anti-virus market leader Symantec, the company found that over 60 percent of the 240 enterprises it polled were postponing the introduction of new wireless tools based on security fears.

Click here to read more about device management. Some 82 percent of those companies responding to the survey said that they would rate the impact of mobile viruses as roughly the same, or even worse, than the fallout caused by more traditional IT threats.

Those opinions illustrate the fact that mobile security is already a real-world concern, and with good reason, said Paul Miller, director of mobile and wireless solutions at Symantec. An impending explosion of smart phone adoption along with a lack of preparation by enterprises is setting the table for serious attacks, he said.

"Most companies security strategies are outdated when it comes to the adoption of wireless, and many arent following the use of smart phones at all, so, some enterprises are headed for a breakdown when attacks come," Miller said. "Were not saying that people need to take their attention away from the desktop, as obviously theres a lot of activity there, but companies at least need to begin creating policies and putting them in place before its too late and some problem overwhelms them."

Next Page: The other side of the coin.


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