"Brandon McGee, Industry Insider, Mobile Banking Guru...He is not only the real deal, a genuine industry insider, but also knows exactly what's on the minds of financial service pros as they contemplate the various mobile options." - Jim Bruene, Publisher & Founder, Online Financial Innovations

"Going Mobile. Local executive carves niche as national expert on fast-growing banking-industry technology trend" - Scott Olson, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ)

"Brandon McGee, the industry's unofficial ambassador for mobile banking" 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mobile Banking Security May 19

The Coming Wave of Mobile Attacks
"The pace of innovation on mobile phones and other smart wireless devices has accelerated greatly in the last few years, adding features, speed and computing power. But now the attackers are beginning to outstrip the good guys on mobile platforms, developing innovative new attacks and methods for stealing data that rival anything seen on the desktop, experts say.

For years there have been dire predictions from industry pundits about the coming wave of mobile malware, viruses and Trojans that would specifically target smartphones and PDAs, wreaking havoc on mobile devices. But that giant tide of mobile malware never materialized. There have been a few mobile viruses here and there, but for the most part attackers have decided to forego those kinds of attacks and instead have focused on stealthy techniques that give them unlimited--and unnoticed--control of the device."

Mobile Security Threats Become Aggressive
"Another activity that was once restricted to computers has also recently been making the leap to the mobile phone � banking. Performing banking services on a mobile phone is a relatively old idea, having been mooted sometime around the late 1990s. It was only around 2007 however that the major infrastructure for mobile banking � applications, networks, bank and consumer education and willingness � was finally set up and pilot projects launched.

As of early 2009, mobile banking has not yet seen any of the threats that plague computer-based online banking (phishing, pharming, banking Trojans, etc). A note of caution however � it is unlikely that mobile banking's 'honeymoon' period will last forever. Currently, maybe less than 10% of bank customers eligible for mobile phone banking services make use of this option, as awareness, trust and confidence in mobile banking still needs to be nurtured. As more consumers adopt mobile banking however, security experts expect hackers to migrate their money-stealing efforts to the mobile phone as well."

Security Threats and Opportunities
"For the time being the mobile banking environment is fairly safe. That's not because mobile phones are secure, often they're not. Few people use passwords or install anti-virus software. Security experts say they're safe simply because cybercriminals have not yet seriously targeted phones for malware. But as more people adopt mobile banking and it becomes more transactional-not just checking balances and getting alerts-the threats are likely to mount quickly.

Jacob Jegher, a senior analyst at Celent, says criminals have not targeted mobile phones for the same reason they have bypassed Macs in favor of PCs. Criminals want to develop spyware for the masses, and mobile banking adoption is simply too small to attract serious attention."

Mobile security: The long road ahead
"The market for mobile enterprise solutions is undoubtedly growing, so everyday sensitive data walks out the doors of the enterprise--customer contact lists, pricing data and R&D information that executives and sales staffers carry around on their mobile phones.

As next-generation smart phones become progressively more full-featured and powerful with applications like mobile banking, m-wallet, support multiple VPN methods and run a broad range of business applications, more employees will adopt these devices as a primary connectivity method."

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