Mobile Security: A Crisis Waiting to Happen


Despite all the warnings concerning Internet security, most users are pretty confident of the security of their information when using a mobile computing device.

A new global survey of 9,429 individuals conducted by the Lieberman Research Group on behalf of Unisys finds that 83 percent of the people surveyed in the United States are comfortable using their cell phone or mobile device to access an application on the Internet, which compares to 80 percent for Spain and 75 percent for the United Kingdom.

Mark Cohn, vice president of enterprise security for Unisys, says that when it comes to mobile computing, real security will require cooperation between the companies that make the mobile computing devices, carriers that transport information to and from those devices and the companies that have developed content for those devices.

Unfortunately, we're a long way from that, so much of users' faith in their existing security is probably misplaced. In fact, Cohn worries that it's only a matter of time before thousands of records are compromised by a few simple breaches. In fact, he says identity theft on the Web is already essentially a tax on the global economy that is all too often transparent except to those specifically affected by it. But that transparency will fade with more people using mobile devices than ever.


Yet it may take 10 years or more for all the major stakeholders to develop an effective, coordinated response. In the meantime, he advises major companies to employ as much encryption as possible, while reminding users to surf the Web with care, no matter how secure they may feel at the moment.