Global Security Insight
AdaptiveMobile provides security solutions for the world's leading Operators, protecting 800 million subscribers across mobile and fixed networks. This coverage gives us unparalleled insight into the issues facing Operators and subscribers today. Here we highlight the threats and activity causing the greatest impact to Operators and mobile phone users across the world.
The mobile device is no longer a means of communication and internet access, but also a mechanism for payment. There is now more than double the number of mobile phone subscriptions globally (at 5 Billion) than there are Bank Account Holders (2.2 Billion). It is important to recognise that a mobile phone account is a deposit of funds (Pre-Pay) or a contract for payment (Post-Pay), and through services such as premium rate texting or voice-calls has the same capability to transfer funds out of this account, into the account of a third party.
Subscribers rely on their mobile device to communicate with their network of contacts, to purchase and consume content and applications, and to be productive. Maintaining and expanding this reliance is key for the success of a mobile operator, when competing against low-cost alternative access technologies, or the commoditisation of all you can eat data bundles.
To do this, operators are increasingly looking at how they should preserve and reinforce a sense of Trust between the subscriber and the network, so that every consumer and corporate subscriber can:
- Trust that their pre-pay credit or monthly bill is free from unauthorised charges;
- Trust that their personal and private information will not be distributed without their awareness or consent.
- Trust that messages from their operator, and from their contacts are legitimate
- Trust that their children are able to use mobile devices without risk;
- Trust that corporate mobile devices are used for approved and acceptable purposes.
Historically Operators were able to meet this expectation of Trust, through the control over handset types, applications and content providers. However, the environment today is one where users are entering in to an increasing number of relationships – ranging from relatively unknown application developers, through potentially untrustworthy premium rate content providers, to being exposed to contact from rogue 3rd parties. It is therefore becoming increasingly hard for subscribers to maintain their trust in this ecosystem.
This creates a new opportunity for Operators to deliver Trust as a business service to their consumer and corporate subscribers to deliver new revenue growth through making the network a safe environment for expansion of use and experimentation with new services.
By deploying a network to handset security suite such as the AdaptiveMobile Network+ Protection Platform, subscribers can continue to interact wirelessly, safe in the knowledge that their Operator is guarding them from the risks of:
- Privacy Threats
A rising trend in smartphone applications to distribute personal information or data that could be used to compromise the subscriber's reputation or identity.
- Compound Threats
Attacks which utilise multiple network services (such as SMS shortcodes, premium rate calls or mobile payment services) and exploit the weaknesses in trust within networks to extract financial gain, or act as a launch point for other attacks.
- Operator Reputation
The impact for an operator of a compromised subscriber base, resulting in a declining external reputation over IP and SS7. Failure to address reputational issues results in other networks losing trust in the operator, to the extent of potentially finally blacklisting all messaging traffic from the operator.