Using their own independent studies, VeriSign and Israel-based Discertix both recently released the smartphone security trends they expect to see in 2010.
According to VeriSign CTO, Kenneth Silva, who recently spoke in Seoul about the likely mobile device threats in 2010,
“An attack on the mobile device operating system will affect the phone contacts, mobile banking log-ins and passwords and any other valuable information stored on the device”
Smartphone sales are expected to beat PC sales for the first time in 2011.
The opportunities for cyber criminals to penetrate mobile devices are the results of:
- More phone applications needing updates which can pose an opening for phishing scams
- An increase in jail broken phones, which compromises the operating system as an example.
Silva explains that these vulnerabilities can lead to “deliberate Denial of Service attacks, extortion, and corporate espionage as threats for 2010″ and has as such become a national priority for several countries including Israel, the U.S. and the U.K
Research by Discretix, an embedded security solutions company, indicates that smartphones already make up 25% of the market and might reach 40% market share in the next 5 years.
In addition to finding the same threats posed by applications and an open OS that VeriSign did, Discretix has also listed:
- Some of the new OSs (e.g. Android) are open source, missing the traditional safeguards and closed environment of other real time operating systems
- Also the devices are multi-use with massive storage capacity, moving data and applications freely between the enterprise and the home
Despite the seriousness of these threats, a survey conducted by security software firm Trend Micro that was released in August 2009 indicated that 44% of mobile phone users considered Web surfing on a smartphone to be “as safe, if not safer, than doing so on their PC” and “only 23 percent of smartphone owners use security software already installed on their smartphones.”
Discretix was one of the fastest growing Israeli companies in 2008 and 2009 according to Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar and will deliver Open Mobile Alliance DRM capabilities to HTC Windows Mobile and Google Android handsets.