Mobile Banking: The Weakest Link By Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com
For many the prospect of conducting their banking by cell phone either strikes them as totally cool or totally crazy. I tend to put myself in the first camp as an embracer of mobile technologies, but admittedly I am not without my mobile security reservations.
As we all know in digital security, the weakest link is always the most vulnerable point of any topology. In mobile banking this weak link happens to be the very handset that we are expected to entrust with our financial transactions. The adoption of third party mobile security solutions is still very limited across the global spectrum of mobile users, thus the greatest level of threat that mobile banking faces has become the very platform of the transactions.
Let us assume that the mobile phone is the next great platform of the digital future and instantly the security that many take for granted on their cell phone becomes a significant bargaining chip for mobile application developers. It is no surprise that industry titans such as Google are jumping into mobile advertising as the industry demographics are so encouraging to their financial prospects. On the other hand, as mobile users are already beginning to experience mobile advertising on their once sacred mobile space one can not help but exercise concern regarding the origination of the content. Just as viruses are spread so commonly through email in a computer-based setting, the content now arriving on your mobile handset may not be as safe as you might hope.
With the popularity of mobile keyloggers, these applications can be easily embedded in a mobile message. Again touching on the limitations of handset level security that are so common throughout the mobile industry, we start connecting the dots of the handset as the weakest link of mobile banking. You get an unassuming mobile advertising (spam) message delivered to your handset and before you know it your seemingly safe mobile banking is compromised from the inside. Your every keystroke can be remotely monitored, thus passing access to your mobile banking into the wrong hands.
Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to deter anyone from adopting mobile banking as I personally think it is a blessing. If you use your handset the way I do, you should at least consider the value of the information you are putting into your handset… since after all it is still the weakest link. I look for many of the banks to start partnering with mobile security firms to address these mobile vulnerabilities head-on, but until then remember to be on the lookout for your own mobile security.
Your mobile security guru, Eric E
Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com