Risky Business: Do You Fit the Mobile Security Victim Profile?

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Original Article on InformationSecurityBuzz.com

Malware continues to become a growing and increasingly costly risk to mobile users today, with one in every 30 mobile browsing transactions, and one in every seven mobile app sessions proving to be potentially harmful. In fact, roughly 5.9 percent of subscribers encounter a risky website every day and are transmitted through URLs and mobile apps that mobile users access daily according to our recent research. Even more concerning is that teens and children populations are especially vulnerable as the proliferation of mobile devices, online and app activity increase dramatically. And because mobile is ingrained in all we do and how we live, it’s become increasingly difficult to identify and mitigate the growing volume of attacks targeted at this vector.

While there are vendors out there who represent various parts of the ecosystem and focus on everything from mobile device management (MDM) to endpoint security, communication service providers (CSPs) are in a unique position in the industry because they are at the heart of the digital experience and can stop threats at the network level. CSPs have access to a goldmine of network user data that can be used to better understand a range of user profiles when it comes to risky behavior. When armed with relevant data, CSPs can gain insights into who might be most susceptible to engaging with sites that may contain malware, spyware or phishing scams, and intervene with network-based solutions that can minimize that user’s specific risks. By offering network-based security services, CSPs have the opportunity to provide added value to their subscribers and protect users based on their personal mobile habits and behaviors. At the same time, they gain a unique opportunity to monetize the network, increase ARPU and even reduce churn.

What’s the big deal?

In large part, mobile security is an afterthought for consumers and business people who don’t have the time to manage multiple subscriptions, update to the latest software version or worry about where they click (even if it appears to be from someone you trust). As opposed to the case for fixed networks, while some regulators already require mobile operators to provide basic security against mobile malware, a large majority do not. And while every mobile user is at risk of security threats, no two users are alike in their risky behavior and in turn, the security measures needed for them to remain safe.