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Mobile Phone Users Concerned with Security (Survey)

Mobile network providers who have been aggressively building out their networks and hawking low-priced data plans would be better served by strengthening their security infrastructures and offering value-added security services along with extra protection to end users and their multiplicity of devices.  This finding came from a survey of over 1,000 adult smartphone users sponsored by security vendor Crossbeam Systems, and conducted by the firm Opinion Matters in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

The headline here is "Mobile Network Providers Face a Potential Exodus of 74 percent of Smartphone users after a Security Breach." Getting to that number is a bit tricky because the survey initially says that 63 percent of respondents cited high monthly fees as the primary reason that would motivate them to change mobile network providers, while only five percent reported they would change carriers over poor security. Looking at it another way, however, respondents said that if their smartphones were compromised by hackers, malware or other security failures, 55 percent would consider swapping out their mobile network providers, while 19 percent would definitely change carriers, which brings us to the 74 percent figure.

Crossbeam attributes the seemingly lackluster concern by customers over security to their inclination to not worry about security until they have been hacked -- an attitude that has lulled mobile providers into concentrating less on security and thus underestimating the risk it engenders. The company goes on to note the implications of not focusing on security in the age of BYOD and consumerization.

Not surprisingly, 41.7 percent of survey respondents said that if their smartphones were hacked by criminals it would be the fault of their mobile network providers, while another 21.8 percent said they would blame their smartphone manufacturers. That's a total of 63.5 percent who would blame someone other than themselves, while 26.9 percent said they would shoulder the blame.

Even though high fees were a major issue for survey respondents, 53 percent of global respondents (U.S., U.K. and Germany) indicated that they are willing to pay additional fees to help improve security. According to the survey, "Regionally, 59 percent of U.S. and 65 percent of German respondents would be willing to pay extra for security services, although almost two-thirds of U.K. respondents (63 percent) were against any type of additional fee."

More information about the survey is available at http://www.crossbeam.com.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 12/03/2012 at 12:48 PM


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