By Terry Cutler
Just how fast is technology moving? At lightening speed say security specialists, and when it comes to online security it’s moving too fast. We cannot keep up. The example is our growing use of mobile devices. In today’s world of business the Smartphone is fast becoming the gateway to sales and customer communication and operations. These mobile devices also double as the tool for personal banking, social media and emails.
According to several reports http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/08/16/cios-must-address-the-growing-mobile-device-security-threat/
There are now 5.9 billion mobile-phone subscribers across the world. Returning to the Ponemon Institute study http://www.ponemon.org/index.php
I referred to in my last blog six out of every 10 cyber-security breaches can be linked to our mobile devices. Mobile device intrusions have increased by 155 percent. The speed, at which mobile breaches are occurring, according to the study, has increased to 3,325 percent over a seven-month period in 2011.
How does one control how corporate Smartphones are used? Let’s start with knowing what applications are being installed and operated by the users?
But our phones are secure, right?
Why would such reputable companies develop and mass-market unsafe products? The product itself may be somewhat safe, but using the apps and other device products that are for sale are out of the control of the main manufacturer.
The Android Market, BlackBerry App World and Apple, reputable as three leading and business companies, are all present themselves as safe, but outside products, or third party products, may have malware that could wreak havoc on a Smartphone.
Consider that almost one third of the applications available from the Android Market or Apple App Store require access to user’s location data, according to App Genome Project, https://www.mylookout.com/appgenome/ to help keep mobile phone users secure.
Briefly, the App Genome Project (AGP) is an ongoing project that has scanned nearly 300,000 free applications, and mapped out nearly 100,000 applications available in both Android Market and the App Store.
The list of apps available seems endless. The project reported that the number of apps available on the Android Market increased by a whopping 127 percent since August 2010, while the Apple App Store grew at a rate of 44 percent. It is interesting to note the numbers for one reason; If the growth rate continues at the same pace, the Android Market will have more apps than the Apple App Store by Christmas of 2012, the project estimates.
Next Week, “Mr. CEO you’ve been hacked! Now What?”
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.