Security-as-a-Service = Protection Racket

Most mobile network operators aren't providing even basic security measures. The proposal? Get users to pay for security.

Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading

February 12, 2016

3 Min Read
Security-as-a-Service = Protection Racket

If you use a smartphone, you are your own security risk. Apps are increasingly being used as vehicles for malware, especially productivity apps, which means that businesspeople using their phones for work are engaging in the riskiest behaviors. (See Report: Apps Undermine Mobile Net Security.)

Read that again. If that doesn't make your blood boil, think about it this way: App developers are apparently not responsible for making their apps more secure. You'd think that mobile network operators might be responsible for making their networks more secure, but they're not.

If you use mobile apps and you get infected by malware, it's entirely your fault for using the mobile apps that app developers and mobile network operators are doing everything they can to make you want -- nay, need to use if you're a businessperson.

Trying to get app developers to do something about that? Not even discussed by Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), which analyzed the data (with Kaspersky Lab ), identified and evaluated the risks and published its findings in a recent report.

So shouldn't the mobile network operators make their networks more secure? Shouldn't they be secure already?

After all, it's been common knowledge for decades that malware can be spread through executables. And yet years after mobile carriers began offering broadband, Allot tells us, their networks still lack basic security measures to protect data users.

And why should network operators offer basic security measures to protect data users?

If security was the network operators' problem, they'd have to provide it, and hardly anybody is trying to make them provide it, Allot notes. Therefore it must not be their responsibility.

So who does that leave?

You. Apparently because you're fool enough to think that app developers might write their apps in such a manner that they're more secure, or that the mobile network operators might have some basic -- basic! -- security measures in place.

Want to know more about protecting mobile networks? Check out our mobile security channel here on Light Reading.

The industry built the equipment, wrote the software, devised the networks and invited people to use them. And because all of the constituencies in the electronics industry -- chip makers, OEMs, software developers, network architects -- can't be bothered to coordinate with each other to make the whole system safe, it must somehow be the users' fault? Companies have rushed to make life convenient for customers and subscribers and users of their products and services, and then they blame users for not employing security measures that tend to be inconvenient, impractical and all too often inadequate?

This is one of the most irritating arguments ever made by the electronics industry.

Allot sells security technology and services. And since their customers aren't buying, they've tried to give them a viable reason to start. You can't blame Allot for suggesting its customers and potential customers could make money from offering security-as-a-service.

Because "security-as-a-service" sounds so much better than "replacing an irresponsible business model" or "protection racket."

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

About the Author(s)

Brian Santo

Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading

Santo joined Light Reading on September 14, 2015, with a mission to turn the test & measurement and components sectors upside down and then see what falls out, photograph the debris and then write about it in a manner befitting his vast experience. That experience includes more than nine years at video and broadband industry publication CED, where he was editor-in-chief until May 2015. He previously worked as an analyst at SNL Kagan, as Technology Editor of Cable World and held various editorial roles at Electronic Engineering Times, IEEE Spectrum and Electronic News. Santo has also made and sold bedroom furniture, which is not directly relevant to his role at Light Reading but which has already earned him the nickname 'Cribmaster.'

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