Mobile security

Report: Apps Undermine Mobile Net Security

Most mobile operators are not providing basic broadband network security measures. Addressing the lack of incentive to do so, Allot Communications is suggesting monetizing security by selling it to subscribers as a service.

Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) recently published its latest Mobile Trends Report, created in conjunction with the security experts at Kaspersky Lab . It begins: "Malware is spreading with increasing frequency into the mobile realm, transmitted through URLs that we use every day and even more through mobile Apps. Some regulators already require mobile operators to provide basic security measures to protect data users, but most don’t yet. Mobile operators have a real opportunity to be proactive and profitable by offering network-based security services to protect users at risk."

Allot calculates that "about 1 in every 30 mobile browsing transactions is potentially risky, and 1 in every 7 mobile App sessions is risky. Clearly every mobile user is at risk to some extent."

The biggest security risks in the mobile broadband space are certain categories of apps, followed by certain URLs.

Allot and Kaspersky evaluated the riskiest categories of apps and determined that over 90% of all apps for P2P file sharing, email, web conferencing, file storage and sharing, remote administration and search portals are risky. Roughly a third of all apps for social networking, network protocols, web content aggregators and ecommerce are risky.

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Somewhere in the neighborhood of two thirds of all mobile subscribers engage in risky behavior, Allot tells us. Business professionals are the worst offenders -- 79% of businessmen, and 67% of businesswomen. The percentage of Youths and Millennials using risky apps is 65%. (The categories are Male, Female, Youth, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, Business Users and Digitally Hooked.)

Of course, the more you use the web, the more at risk you are, which explains why businesspeople rank so high. Businesspeople are more apt to visit more and different websites where they are also subject to malware risk.

Mobile app downloads are typically protected, Allot reports, but their use is not, "making certain user behaviors vulnerable to malware threats."

The solution is offering security-as-a-service, Allot says.

"Even though they may be at risk for malware, mobile users will not stop browsing or using popular Apps. But they will be eager to protect their devices and personal data from cyber threats. This is where mobile operators can play an important role in securing the digital experience.

"Our report findings strongly suggest," the Allot report continues, "that mobile CSPs can identify and reach out to consumer and business customers who are at risk, targeting them with personalized Security as a Service from their network or cloud."

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

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