Security alert: Mobile networks and devices need constant protection from threats

Sue Marek
It's a disturbing trend. Nearly every day there are reports of malware attacks on wireless devices, with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform being particularly vulnerable to these threats. In fact, security firm McAfee last month reported that malware targeted at Android devices increased 37 percent in third quarter compared with the second quarter. McAfee also noted that 2011 was the busiest year for mobile malware in history.

Although mobile operating systems and application storefronts are the most likely to be attacked, wireless networks are also vulnerable. Wireless network executives have admitted that their networks are under constant attack from hackers. In fact, at a Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo., this summer, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that his company fights off billions of hacking attempts every month. 

Most operators fight security threats with multiple layers of defense--both in the network and the device. Device makers invest in encryption solutions, security locks and data-wiping capabilities. But with devices becoming more sophisticated and mobile operating systems becoming more prevalent, the need for more security solutions is growing. 

Security concerns are even extending to Wi-Fi hotspots thanks to the growth in Wi-Fi offloading. Fortunately, the industry is working on solutions that enable operators to offload traffic to Wi-Fi and still meet security stipulations with access points and devices that are certified through the Wi-Fi Alliance.

In this new eBook from FierceWireless, we take a close look at the latest security measures that operators, device makers and mobile operating systems are taking to ensure that consumers and enterprises are safe from security breaches. --Sue