Carriers collaborating to improve mobile security

Mobile-Parts

One of the biggest challenges for enterprise IT managers today is securing mobile devices. While the major obstacles to mobile security (as all IT pros know) are users, technology vulnerabilities also play a part in making mobile devices a risk to enterprise networks and data.

That’s because users often are forced to jump through multiple hoops to access applications, typically by having to remember passwords for individual apps. Indeed, virtually any mobile device user will tell you that password management is a major hassle. To make life simpler for themselves, users will resort to easily remembered passwords — often for multiple apps — that can be discovered by hackers through social engineering or a program that tries random passwords until it finds the right one.

If the major U.S. carriers have their way, though, mobile security will be much tighter by next year. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have announced they are forming a Mobile Authentication Taskforce “to develop a mobile authentication solution for enterprises and customers in 2018.”

The taskforce is expected to tackle issues such as network-based device authentication, geolocation and SIM card recognition, the carriers said. Each carrier has agreed to contribute resources to help develop an advanced, mobile authentication solution designed to “reduce mobile identity risks by analyzing data and activity patterns on a mobile network to predict, with a high degree of certainty, whether the user is who they say they are,” the announcement said.

“Through strong collaboration, the taskforce announced today has the potential to create impactful benefits for U.S. customers by helping to decrease fraud and identity theft, and increase trust in online transactions,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer of global mobile operator industry group GSMA. “Further, we will be working closely with the taskforce to ensure this solution is aligned and interoperable with solutions deployed by operators.”

Enterprises certainly can’t count on users or overburdened IT pros to eliminate or even minimize most mobile security threats. Just keeping up with the latest exploits, after all, can be overwhelming. Here’s hoping this taskforce of major U.S. mobile carriers can help tighten up mobile security through better authentication solutions.

Comments

  1. Very Interesting. Just the information I was looking for. Thank you!

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