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AT&T & Sprint Want More Security for Mobile UsersAT&T & Sprint Want More Security for Mobile Users

As mobile devices become more attractive to cyber attackers, AT&T and Sprint are offering their customers some ways to fight back

Sarah Thomas

August 11, 2011

2 Min Read
AT&T & Sprint Want More Security for Mobile Users

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) are taking action against hackers and cyber attackers targeting their customers' mobile devices.

Both tapped security vendors this week as they get new mobile security initiatives underway. Sprint began offering two McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) security apps for select Android smartphones and tablets on Wednesday. AT&T followed on Thursday by announcing it's working with Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) on a comprehensive mobile security strategy. The first iteration of it will be a mobile security app for consumers and enterprise users, available later this year, based on Juniper's Junos Pulse client.

Why this matters
As smartphones become more capable and contain more personal information, the more vulnerable they are to malware attacks. Criminals go where the money is, says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO of security vendor AVG Technologies . And as phones morphed into computing devices, the platform -- especially Android's open OS -- has become the latest target.

"Criminals are spending their time finding vulnerabilities only when they can monetize on them," Ben-Itzhak told LR Mobile in a recent interview. "When you run software [and get] 5 to 10 percent market share, that's when hackers take notice."

Vendors like AVG, McAfee and others offer their own security apps in most mobile app stores, but an attack can reflect poorly on wireless operators as well. It's important that they make moves to protect their customers.

Of course, mobile security is also a revenue-generating opportunity for operators. Juniper Research Ltd. forecasts that mobile security software will reach nearly $3.7 billion in revenues by 2016. AT&T plans to sell its platform to enterprises later this year. Sprint is offering the McAfee app free for a seven-day trial, followed by a $30 yearly subscription. A family version of the app runs $20 a year following a free, 30-day trial.

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About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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