Juniper extends beyond the router and into mobile security

Juniper Networks is extending its reach beyond the router and into the complex world of mobile device security as malware attacks jump 250%...
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

Juniper Networks announced that it has moved beyond the router and extended its business to providing mobile security systems including the world's first global threat and research center focused on mobility.

The move follows corporate adoption of smartphones and the need to manage security across all devices connected to the corporate network.

The Junos Pulse mobile security suite provides several dozen security applications, such as being able to wipe data remotely if a device is lost or stolen; and protect against persistent malware threats.

The company said that its new Juniper Global Threat Center will provide 24/7 monitoring of security threats due to research that shows malware threats focused on mobile devices have increased 250% since 2009.

Additional research findings:

- Nearly 80 percent of users access their employer's network without their employer's knowledge or permission and 59 percent do so every day.

- Analysis of Android Market applications capable of malicious activity showed that 1 out of every 20 applications requested permissions that could allow the application to place a call without the user's knowledge.

- A Fortune 15 company found that 5 percent or 25,000 of its mobile devices were infected with malware.

- A 250 percent increase in malware from 2009 to 2010.61 percent of all reported smartphone infections were spyware, capable of monitoring communication from the device.

- 17 percent of all reported infections were text message Trojans, which charge fees to a device's account holder.

- More than 76% of consumers surveyed use their smartphones or tablets to access sensitive personal or business information, including: 51% to enter or modify passwords; 43% to access banking or credit card statements; 30% to access utility bills; 20% to share financial information such as credit card numbers; 18% to access employer's proprietary information; 17% to access medical records; and 16% to share social security numbers.

- Of the 16 countries surveyed, India (90%) showed the highest level of user concern for mobile security issues, followed by Brazil and Russia (88% each), Germany (86%) and China and Italy (both at 85%). Respondents in Hong Kong (70%), Belgium/Netherlands (74%) and the US and Japan (77% each) were the least concerned by comparison.

- Business and personal use varied by region and country, with personal use dominating in Canada (72%), Japan (70%), France (67%) and most other countries. China, Russia and Brazil were the leading exceptions with 75%, 65% and 61% combined business and personal use respectively — and Belgium/Netherlands reported the highest business-only use (12%).

- Responses varied even more widely on the question of accessing employer networks without the employer's knowledge or permission. Smartphone/tablet users in the US were the most conservative, with only 52% admitting to unauthorized access. Brazil, Russia, Japan and Italy were the most aggressive, with 94%, 93%, 90% and 90% respectively admitting to unauthorized access.

- Password protection levels were fairly consistent across countries, with only 10% to 20% not having passwords — with the exception of US respondents, where 25% reported not being password protected, and India and Singapore where only 8% and 6% reported not being password protected.

- Concern levels about specific threats were also fairly consistent, with the exception of India and Brazil where concerns about phone/data loss (84% India, 75% Brazil), parental controls (77% India, 72% Brazil) and identity theft (87% India, 82% Brazil) were well above the norm. Russia and Singapore were also well above the norm for phone/data loss (68% Russia, 79% Singapore) and identity theft (82% each), though within the normal range of concern about parental controls (55% Russia, 47% Singapore).

- Respondents in the US were among the least concerned — only 43% for phone/data loss, 43% for parental controls and 46% for identity theft. Belgium/Netherlands was less concerned on phone/data loss, with only 41%. Japan was less concerned on one threat, with 40% for parental controls.

The survey was conducted via global omnibus surveys by phone and online during October 2010 with more than 6,000 smartphone and tablet users from a pool of 16,000 consumers across 16 countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, China, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The survey was conducted by KRC Research and Synovate on behalf of Juniper Networks.

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Webcast of launch.

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