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4G could signal a wave of mobile security threats, Symantec warns

Exclusive Interview Malware seen on WiFi and wired networks, such as botnets, could appear on mobile devices
Fri Aug 24 2012, 14:56
Mobile spectrum antenna against sunset

THE ROLLOUT OF 4G later this year could give way for more high-risk mobile security implications, Symantec has warned.

Speaking to The INQUIRER in an exclusive interview today, the firm's security strategist, Sian John said that threats such as botnets seen in popular desktop operating systems such as Windows could start shifting to mobile devices due 4G's new capabilities.

"We could see a move to the sort of threats that we already see on the wireless and fixed connected network," John said. "Malware that you usually have on fixed networks, like botnets.

"There aren't many botnets on mobile devices because the bandwidth's not there to support it, once you go on to 4G [hackers] could start infecting systems."

To ensure that enterprises avoid these these security threats, John advised that businesses need to be on their toes more than ever, look closely at everything that's coming into the network, and not trust anything.

"Companies need to make sure that where traditionally it's been a firewall with a perimeter with everything in a timeline environment," John said. "What they need to look at is 'what are my employees doing', 'what information is being shared' and 'how do we ensure our information is being protected no matter where it may be', whether its mobile device, across networks or sitting in a cloud service."

"This is a change we are going through, but 4G is going to push the need for that change even more so," she added.

According to John, 4G will also be detrimental to businesses in the way it will add a greater burden for them to ensure that cloud services and mobility - what she calls "two of the biggest security challenges for enterprises and their employees" - are up to scratch.

Not only will 4G ensure the need for companies to ask questions such as "how do I control the cloud and what's happening in it?" and "how do I control mobile and personal devices?" said John, but employees "are not going to want to use a standard corporate device because it might not support 4G when they want to use it". µ


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