Verizon Wireless: Handset-level Mobile Security? Author: Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe, LLC
In reading a recent press release from Verizon Wireless, something very interesting caught my eye, “Mobile Application Security - Set of professional services designed to help enterprises deliver mobile applications securely by maintaining consistent levels of protection and compliance for both traditional and mobile applications.”(Verizon; 2009) Digging deeper into this offering I found that the Mobile Security plan will enforce access codes, establish policies by which devices that are stolen or lost can be locked by the administrator and cleansed of data; encrypt devices and data cards; and deliver firewall and antivirus applications. (Managing Automation; 2009)
Perhaps it’s because I live mobile security all day, every day, but I think in their attempt to extend their professional services business, Verizon Wireless may have just walked into a hornet nest. The question is, how many times will they have to get stung before they realize the enormity of this unique industry?
I’m all for Verizon Wireless expanding their professional services business because as they’ve finally formally recognized the definite need for such services in the marketplace. Traditionally wireless providers have taken a network-level security approach to mobile security (i.e. digital security safeguards at the network-level so that they can promote their “mobile security”). In essence if your handset became infected, it only meant that you had to buy a new one which contributes to the profitability of the provider. This move into the handset-level marks an unprecedented move into the mobile security market by a wireless service provider. Naturally, seeing a company like Verizon Wireless entering the mobile security business justifies everything that we’ve been working toward at MyMobiSafe.com for the past five years with regard to recognizing the handset-level vulnerabilities that every wireless user faces. It will be interesting to see how Verizon Wireless embraces their new mobile security market and to see what new developments they’re able to bring to the market. I’m sure in a move like this Verizon Wireless has the financial means to develop an impressive mobile security lab and security suite, but clearly significant resources (financial, personnel, PP&E, etc) will be required to embrace this market successfully.
Verizon Wireless entering the mobile security market now is an indication that the value of handset-level security has become a mainstream issue. This announcement marks a significant move into a highly specialized market wherein Verizon Wireless must emerge successful; a failure in this market at their level could be catastrophic for everyone on the Verizon Wireless network.
Welcome to my world Verizon Wireless!
Eric Everson - The MobileTech
Eric Everson is a leading mobile technologies researcher and is the founder of MyMobiSafe.com. If you would like to contact Eric Everson for interview or with research related inquiries contact him directly at EricEverson@Hotmail.com.