Infographic Visualizes Truth on Mobile Security

Our world is becoming faster and more portable every day. I can picture an 80-year-old version of myself mindlessly rambling about a time where you could only send 200 text messages a month, but only if your parents trusted you enough to upgrade your service plan.

Meanwhile, my grandkids will be publishing the whole debacle to some social media site -which I surely won’t be able to even slightly understand- with the caption, “It’s really sad to see Grandpa like this.” The point is, for better or worse, mobile technology has changed, and will continue to change, the way we conduct our lives. Entrust sees the potential in mobile devices and knows that with the proper solutions implemented we can be sure that the mobile takeover will help enhance security and protect our identities and information.

As part of our efforts to help understand the perceptions versus realities of mobile security, Entrust created an infographic to help visualize the commissioned study from Forrester Consulting. Mobile security is likely among the top concerns, if not the first, of every security and/or information officer. The excessive amounts of press covering the alleged insecurity of mobile devices has made it difficult for knowledgeable experts to reach consumers with the truth about mobile devices.

We can’t stop the mobile movement. Most security-conscious companies are already investing in mobile and tablet strategies. According to the Forrester report, 52 percent1 of the employees at surveyed companies utilize three or more devices for both business and personal matters.

The most common concerns are understandable. It’s all too easy for a thief to pick a smartphone up off of a table at a restaurant, and break through the four-digit passcode. After that, he or she would have virtually uninhibited access to social media, bank accounts, or any other personal information I have stowed away in the apps.

We carry our lives in our phones, and passcodes alone are not sufficient means of protection. The same is true for desktops. These days, it’s not by some obscure and complex technology that hackers are able to seize passwords.

Frankly, 17-year-olds in their mothers’ basements and experts alike have long since been capable of retrieving passwords with very little effort. Passcodes can keep your identity safe from thieves looking to just flip your smartphone for quick cash, but people that are after your private data can easily bypass them. Mobile devices and desktops would both greatly benefit from a security solution that requires a more thorough form of user authentication.

Mobile devices are naturally less susceptible to malware, too. The average application you download from the Apple or Android app stores goes through a fairly rigorous testing process, in which any inconsistency in the code that could hinder the user’s experience is sought out. There is still, of course, the option to “jailbreak” one’s phone, which defies the manufacturer’s intended software for the phone and could potentially introduce various forms of malware. Also, Android users have the option to download apps from unknown and, therefore, untested sources, which could possibly contain malware as well. As long as users remain true to the original software and don’t download from unproven sources, viruses that could easily infiltrate desktops, are not as much of a threat to mobile devices.

Mobile devices are powerful, and require an equally powerful security solution. We can pave the way for a future where mobile devices can securely manage all of the most important aspects of our lives. I just hope in that same future my senile blabbering will get my grandkids a bunch of retweets, or upvotes, or whatever those crazy kids will be calling it.

[1] “Mobility Helps Enterprises Enter a New Age,” Forrester Consulting (on behalf of Entrust), April 2013.