Jonathan Cattell
Jonathan Cattell

There is no doubt that data security and privacy concerns have almost completely migrated to the mobile channel. Whether it is impacting enterprise smartphone users or consumer mobile subscribers, fears that network security is threatened grows each year.

So where does this place the wireless operators in the battle against mobile security threats? Certainly most mobile subscribers assume that network security is a given, and that with these security risks in play, mobile service providers would be fast-tracking network upgrades and technology enhancements that protect their network (and customers) from malicious attack. However, according to a recent survey of 31 global operators conducted by mobileSQUARED, most operators still lag behind in implementing the proper security solutions to police their networks against emerging threats. The study revealed that a significant factor in this lag is a lack of actual pressure from subscribers in key security areas, such as fraud detection and privacy. Whether it is a perception that security is a “given” or a lack of understanding about the full scope of mobile security threats today, operators are seeing much stronger feedback from subscribers in areas of data costs and network quality.

Therefore, it is important for mobile operators to understand the magnitude of the problem and be ready to act. They need to take control of their existing security solutions, evaluate what they can and cannot protect against, and find the best solution to address current threats. For example, operators should consider enhancing existing security solutions that log and report activity with the ability to also proactively block new attacks. Finally, mobile operators need to accurately prioritize where and how they are focusing technology investment for customer retention. Certainly data costs and network quality are enormous issues for mobile subscribers. However, when it comes to security decisions, operators should be both reactive and proactive to consumer demands.