The smartphone as emerging threat vector
Smartphone security is a hot topic. With mobile subscriptions totaling 6 billion by the end of 2011, one thing remains very clear. Mobile devices are rapidly replacing the personal computer at home and in the workplace. We rely on smartphones and tablets for everything Internet-related in our lives, from web surfing to ecommerce transactions to online banking. Securing smartphone users is an important step to protecting data in your enterprise.
Because of our increasing reliance on mobile devices, they represent an emerging threat vector ready to be exploited by cybercriminals. They are also open to new classes of attack. For example, criminals often use malicious mobile apps to send text messages to premium mobile phone numbers, racking up unauthorized charges.
We can expect the threat vector to increase exponentially as mobile devices are used more frequently to make payments. In August 2012, rival U.S. coffee chains Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts began accepting mobile payments via iOS and Android-enabled mobile devices. Starbucks’ mobile payment solution makes use of digital wallets, technology that allows businesses to accept secure mobile transactions and deliver offers, coupons, rewards, and receipts to customers’ smartphones.
These announcements will undoubtedly accelerate the daily use of digital wallets and other forms of mobile payment. They will also act as a magnet for malicious malware writers.
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