Mobile Enterprise: iPhone + Verizon, Mobile Security Threats Loom

3 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

This week, the iPhone comes to Verizon and issues of mobile security continues to pose threats to users.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Today is the day. Since the iPhone was released, only AT&T wireless carrier customers could use it. Until now. The iPhone is now available on the Verizon wireless network.

Starting this morning, loyal Verizon customers can order, buy or otherwise acquire an iPhone. While its availability is sure to be a boon for both Verizon and Apple, it may also mean good things for the enterprise.

Verizon has long been a preferred network of companies tied to their Blackberrys. Yet, as we know, many within the enterprise long for the versatility and productivity that iPhones provide, but were reluctant to change wireless carriers -- especially to AT&T, which has become infamous for dropped calls and connectivity issues. As companies become more in-tune to the wants and needs of their empowered employees, we are eager to keep an eye on the iPhone for Verizon and what it means for the enterprise of the future.

Mobile Malware and Unsafe Networking 

According to a McAfee report about the fourth quarter of 2010, mobile threats are spreading and spam continues to be a big issue for users. The McAfee Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2010 indicated that mobile malware threats increased by 46% last year -- likely a combination of savvy criminals and increased accessibility of smartphones and tablets.

Learning Opportunities

While mobile security threats are not new, what is interesting is the 20 million new pieces of malware uncovered in 2010, of which 36% were created in 2010. As the definition of mobile devices expands to include phones, tablets and apps, companies and individuals alike are facing more of an onslaught of mobile security attacks, requiring more vigilance and strategic approaches to monitoring security and access across multiple devices.

In related news, another report illustrates the need for tighter security controls in the mobile enterprise. According to research by German remote access experts NCP Engineering, more than half of Europeans practice unsafe networking when they work away from the office. Their survey of 300 information-based workers across the UK, France and Germany found 52% admitted they would use a network insecurely while working remotely. A majority of respondents even knew the risks, but decided to use the Internet or files from an unsecure network.

What’s a company to do? More education? Stricter rules and access? While it’s not clear how companies can effectively balance access with security, it’s clear that information is at risk.