Consumer Choice, Apps and Virtualization Impact Mobile Cybersecurity

May 21, 2013

Thanks to innovative solutions and proactive companies throughout the U.S. wireless ecosystem, our country’s wireless industry is one of the most secure in the world

LAS VEGAS – On day one of CTIA 2013™, CTIA-The Wireless Association®’s Cybersecurity Work Group (CSWG) released, “Today’s Mobile Cybersecurity: Industry Megatrends & Consumers” white paper, which explains how mobile cybersecurity is affected by trends where consumers have more choices and freedom than ever before, the continued growth of the new app economy and its proliferation and the move by companies to adopt virtualization. The continued rapid adoption of new wireless technology by consumers and by other industries drive changes to the ecosystem that creates additional challenges for the wireless industry’s cybersecurity efforts.

U.S. wireless penetration exceeds the number of Americans and the growth of wireless devices in other industries continues to skyrocket, which provides cybercriminals with a target-rich environment. Thanks to the U.S. wireless industry’s proactive efforts to protect its customers, the mobile malware infection rate is less than two percent. In countries such as China and Russia, mobile malware infection rates are more than 40 percent, with application stores in Russia reporting an infection rate of more than 95 percent across all operating systems.

While the industry is spending billions of dollars to protect its infrastructure and customers, everyone plays a vital role in their own cybersecurity and privacy. CTIA and its members will continue to educate consumers on the numerous industry-provided apps, tools and features.

As users and other industries continue to rely on and benefit from wireless technology, cyberthreats become more persistent and evolve to try to circumvent the industry’s security efforts. To ensure customers have the best mobile experience, the U.S. wireless industry must have the flexibility to adapt and respond to cyberthreats, including being able to share potential issues and how to solve them with government entities and other appropriate organizations.

This ability for government and private sector experts to communicate with each other is also key to consumers and end users’ privacy. Going hand-in-hand, privacy is the “what” to protect, including personal and financial information, while cybersecurity addresses “how” to protect it.

“While cybersecurity may seem like a new issue to some, the U.S. wireless industry has been at the forefront of protecting its customers for decades. Yet as threats and thieves continue to evolve and advance, the industry must have the flexibility and capability to share problems and solutions with each other and the government. Flexibility, information sharing and actively involved consumers are all intertwined tools vital to true cybersecurity,” said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA.

Formed in June 2012, CTIA’s CSWG is comprised of senior representatives from 35 companies throughout the wireless industry. The third white paper is available at: http://ctia.it/15Pw1QE (PDF). The second white paper is available at: http://ctia.it/12Hc4Jm (PDF). The first white paper, “Today’s Mobile Cybersecurity: Protected, Secured and Unified” is available at: http://ctia.it/VBm9lY (PDF).

For more information and consumer tips on cybersecurity, please visit: http://ctia.it/ST7xir 

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CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry’s leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.
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