On Mobile Security: Sony CEO Suggests Just Throwing Your Handset Away By Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com
It frightens me as a mobile security expert and cell phone user alike to see such a lack of mobile security awareness in the wireless industry. Today I caught the C-SPAN2 coverage of the World Economic Forum on the Future of Mobile Technology, and I must say one comment definitely threw up a red flag.
The panel consisted of many influential leaders in wireless including Sony Chairman and CEO, Sir Howard Stringer. The comment that was jaw-dropping and has provided some comic relief at the MyMobiSafe.com headquarters was made by Sir Howard. When an audience member brought up issues of mobile security, Sir Howard stumbled on the question and slipped out the response, “If the handset were infected I guess you could just throw it away.”
Perhaps in a nutshell that sentence alone summaries all of the qualms that mobile security providers face in today’s wireless industry. Those at the top see their products as disposable, neglecting the possibility that their customers actually felt the financial burden of purchasing their new handset. Granted, Sony has no “iPhone” to speak of but the company still offers a slew of upper-end handsets such as their W960i. Handset costs aside, the providers and manufacturers alike have no concept of protecting proprietary data on the handset. I know countless people that use their handsets to exchange inside business related information (competitive pricing particularly).
How can someone at the head of such a potentially influential wireless company seemingly have missed the entire mobile security boat? To paraphrase, “What your phone has been attacked by malware? No worries, just chuck it and run out to buy yourself a new one.” Besides, why should those at the top care about the handset security of the end user? If your phone is rendered useless by a virus or other form of malware, they are just going to make more money when you buy a new phone.
Okay, I’ll curb the rant but surely I can’t be the only one stunned by the lack of concern for handset security. Then again, it seems that mobile technology is moving too fast for many of the good old boys running the industry these days.
Your friend and mobile security guru, Eric Everson
Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com