The Continuously Advancing Edge of Mobile Phone Security
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The Continuously Advancing Edge of Mobile Phone Security

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 01 December 2017, 09:08 Hrs
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The topic of mobile phone security should never be taken lightly. Due to the continuously advancing threat of spyware and malware, developers are being forced to adapt to a changing environment. For instance, a massive backdoor in the website of American provider T-Mobile enabled hackers to obtain the personal details of any customer simply through the use of their phone number. Such instances are only expected to increase in the coming year. So, what can we expect to see in the coming months and what security flaws still need to be addressed?

More Challenges Lay Ahead

Smartphone developers are well aware that they face some truly daunting challenges. There are several reasons behind this undeniable conclusion:

• The number of mobile phone uses is on the rise.
• The prevalence of third-party applications opens up an entirely new risk.
• Many users are unaware of the protocols that need to be taken.

Let us consider this observation. An Android security report claimed that as many as 3.5 million instances of hacking were expected to occur in 2017 alone. What is even more disturbing is that this very same briefing stated that the majority of systems are not properly equipped to thwart such threats. When we consider that more than 8,400 new discoveries of malware are reported every day, such statistics should not be altogether surprising.

What Steps are Being Taken?

The answer to this question is rather tricky, as it partially involves the type of threat being dealt with. Malware and spyware can often be blocked through the use of advanced firewalls and updated anti-virus programs. Unfortunately, these threats represent only the tip of the iceberg. The real problem is associated such programs such as trojans that remain dormant for extended periods of time. Should users be unaware of their presence, they will not be reported to the developer. Thus, some companies could very well be sitting on digital "time bombs" in terms of data theft and system corruption.

What About Virtualisation?

Most readers will not be familiar with this term. Virtualisation was first proposed by the American National Security Agency (NSA) as a means to protect laptops and tablets. In essence, this method enables the most important communications to run on completely virtual platforms which are separate from the device in question. The obvious benefit here is that this type of separation provides an extra level of redundancy. Unfortunately, this technique is still not available on mobile devices. An experiment utilising the HTC A9 showed signs of promise, but the main issue is that virtualisation software needs to be created for each individual smartphone model. This process is prohibitively expensive at the present. 

The Role of the User

Most software developers agree that individual users can play very important roles in the detection and elimination of potential security threats. The first step is to be aware of their existence. Still, cognisance alone is no longer enough. It is just as crucial for consumers to adopt safe downloading and browsing methods. For instance, those who are searching for the latest iPhone deals should only navigate to trusted websites such as Broadband Choices. When considering any third-party application, it is critical to read the reviews of other users as well as to verify the status of the provider in question. As soon as one suspects that their data has been breached, it needs to be immediately reported to the provider with as many details as possible. This will enable developers and programmers to enact any on-the-fly changes and to thwart potentially larger attacks.

What to Expect in 2018

Security threats are not going away anytime soon. As developers block one attack, others will likely take place. This proverbial game of cat and mouse seems to have no end. This is not to say that consumers should sit back and don their doomsday hats. It is still wise to search for iPhone deals, cheap wireless plans and other options in order to benefit from this amazing technology. Security should nonetheless remain in the back of the mind of every consumer. 

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