Concerns rise over mobile threats

Concerns rise over mobile threats

New McAfee research shows consumers are worried about the security of mobile services

Mobile internet usage could be harmed by increasing consumer concerns over the security of mobile devices and the information they access over the web, according to new research by security vendor McAfee released today.

The McAfee Mobile Security Report 2008 revealed that nearly three quarters of global consumers are concerned about the security of services such as banking, downloads and ticketing, when they are delivered via a mobile platform. But despite this, 79 per cent are knowingly using unprotected devices, the report found, while over half said they expect mobile operators to take responsibility by preloading security features onto handsets and offering free security services.

Compared to the PC space, the threat to mobile devices from viruses and other web borne threats is small, but as more consumers use the internet on their mobiles they could find themselves exposed to greater risk, according to McAfee security analyst Greg Day.

"We used to just look at mobile threats in their own, but now a lot of PC threats which are application-based are relevant to that space, even thought they're not specifically targeted at the mobile," he added. "When the criminals do [decide to target mobiles] it will accelerate fast because so much knowledge can be transferred across [from the PC space]."

Corporate data could also be at risk if firms do not extend internet usage policies and corporate anti-malware software onto remote workers' mobile devices, added Day.

In related news anti virus software provider Kaspersky Lab has launched its latest threat protection package for smartphones. Kaspersky Mobile Security 7.0 features protection from network attacks, malware and SMS spam with real time scanning, and allows firms to block or remotely delete data on lost or stolen devices, the firm said.

The product is available for smartphones running Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0 or Symbian version 9.x Series 60 3rd.