As mobile devices continue to take market share from laptops and PCs, cyber criminals are also finding a new home. Telcos can help solve problem.
The telecoms sector has always been based on transforming challenges into commercial opportunities, from the laying of the first transatlantic cable way back in 1858 to the present day.
And the idea of making a business case from a problem that most people would rather see vanish into thin air is particularly apt when looking at the issue of mobile security.
With smartphone and tablet penetration growing rapidly, mobile devices are increasingly taking market share from the humble laptop and PC. But with this shift, cyber threats are also migrating into the relatively new territory of mobile computing.
Typically, when an operating system has reached 10% market penetration you will start seeing virus and malware being written for it, according to Nicolai Solling, director of technology services at
But the problem is complex and is also exacerbated by a general lack of awareness, particularly among consumers. And therein lies another problem, because in the world of mobile computing and mobile communications, the lines between enterprise and consumer are blurry, and increasingly so.
Workers are more often performing routine tasks such as checking their work emails from their own devices, and they will sometimes even access their employers internal servers via their own devices. Here the potential for malware to enter the enterprise is obvious.
There are also other issues to worry about when employees use their smartphones for any work-related tasks. Social media applications have a particular fondness for pulling data such as contacts off a device, and this can easily lead to valuable company contacts going public in a big way.
Given the complexity, scope and scale of the problem, telecom operators are ideally positioned to work with their enterprise customers to tackle the issue. Operators already have the customer relationships in place, and by partnering with a suitable security partner, can transform this particular headache into a potentially lucrative opportunity. In doing so, they will also be performing a valuable service given the potential that malware has to disrupt business.
The theme of transforming challenges into opportunities also appeared in a conversation CommsMEA had during a recent interview with
Elsewhere in the issue, there are more upbeat reports of how operators are working to maximise profitability as they continue to find ways of making mobile broadband a commercial success.
In the Clinic we look at how operators are using value added services to their benefit, while Etisalat discusses its exciting plans to introduce Voice over LTE in the
Enabling Voice over LTE is a key piece of the LTE jigsaw that will bring the technology into the mainstream in the region. While Etisalat has done a sterling job implementing its existing LTE services, end users are hungry for a service that includes seamless voice as well. When this comes, we will start to see LTE gain much greater adoption.
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