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Heavy Reading: Telcos Should Be Vocal on Security

Dan Jones

LONDON -- Mobile Network Security Strategies -- Carriers need to take a lesson from the Internet giants when talking publicly about security, according to Heavy Reading senior analyst Patrick Donegan.

Kicking off the London mobile network security conference show here Wednesday, Heavy Reading 's Donegan contrasted the public approach to security of massive Internet companies -- such as Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) -- with the relative silence of major operators on the topic.

Barely a day goes by, Donegan says, in this post-Snowden world, when executives from the large Internet companies aren't speaking out about security and positioning themselves as the end-user's friend. This helps customers feel that those web giants are on their side, Donegan suggested, even though wireless carriers as well as the tech giants provided "full assistance" in NSA data collection, as the general counsel for the NSA suggested recently. (See Another Day, Another Domestic Spying Revelation.)

In contrast, widespread carrier silence on security isn't golden in this case. In fact, carriers could simply start by doing more to let consumers know all that they already do to keep them secure on mobile networks, Donegan suggests.

Hey, carriers, don't be like this on mobile security.
Hey, carriers, don't be like this on mobile security.

"They could talk a lot more about how much they already protect you today," Donegan says. "People don't appreciate that and operators don't communicate that effectively, in my view."

If any of the major carriers shut down their security departments for even a day, the resultant rise in device infection rates and decline in network performance would, however, give an indication of the security work going on behind the scenes.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
5/21/2014 | 8:16:55 AM
Re: Silence
When you are really, REALLY fearful of something, the instinct is to avoid talking about the issue. Plus, the nature of deep security is ... secrecy. That's what makes this area such a challenge. As Alex Rodriguez would say, it's the pink elephant in the room.
User Rank: Blogger
5/21/2014 | 8:01:38 AM
Aside from the spying stuff, I was surprised that the Heartbleed scare and the security attacks affecting Target and other companies in recent months for the most part failed to bring telcos out of their shells. Some of them put out statements, but really only after many other companies had already done so. Strange, when they have the marketing and PR power to say so much more to their customers and the world.
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