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Security and trust in a mobile world

When it comes to security, consumers want to be as safe as their vendors.

Security is a big issue. When we think about mobile security, we often think about securing corporate data. We also think about ensuring employees aren't accessing, or sharing sensitive information in unsecure environments.

However, security is now of ever increasing importance to consumers - especially in the financial services sector.

Telstra's whitepaper, Mobile Identity: The Fusion of Financial Service, Mobility and Identity asserts more than half of the consumers surveyed rate trust the most important driver of choice when selecting a financial services provider.

This is particularly important for Generation X and Y, who are physically and emotionally attached to their mobile devices.

This new breed of consumer have different expectations from their financial services providers. They don't want to tell you who they are; they expect you to know - and to offer them what they want.

This opens up the whole question around 'mobile identity', which is clearly relevant beyond the financial services sector.

Most businesses that operate in the online environment rely upon usernames and passwords to identify their customers - but as we know, usernames and passwords can be breached, stolen, bought and sold.

Many people use the same username and password for multiple logins, for ease of remembering, which increases their exposure to risk.

Let me assure you, cybercrime is no longer the stuff of shady 90s movies. It is a real and present danger for individuals and organisations.

From identity theft and account take-over through to fraudulent transactions, cybercrime costs:

The individual - a breach of trust that carries a financial and emotional toll

The organisation - lost business, labour costs to resolve complex breaches, damage to reputation and brand.

The concept of 'mobile identity' reduces reliance on passwords and enables you to use mobile phones to verify online accounts, business interactions and transactions.

Mobile phones are like a fingerprint - your phone number is uniquely yours. Device information (such as IMEI and hardware type) can be used as identifiers, and behavioural cues such as location can distinguish you from fakes.

To read more on mobile security, go to Telstra Exchange.