S traight talk i t 23 martha bennett graham

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Unformatted text preview: certainly suggests this should be possible. S TRAIGHT TALK I T 23 MARTHA BENNETT, GRAHAM TITTERINGTON & ANDY KELLETT M ore and more consumers are using their mobile devices to access services provided by banks and retailers, ranging from the purely informational to complete banking transactions and purchases. The increasing richness of the functions provided and the rising number of interactive services add to the attraction of using mobile devices in a banking and shopping context and make them ever-more appealing targets for criminals. The volume of actual incidents has so far been low, but industry must act now to ensure the threat doesn’t turn into a reality that stifles mobile banking and commerce growth. 24 S TRAIGHTTALK I T Mobile malware attacks haven’t been much of a threat, yet The absence of any major attacks on mobile devices should not lead banks, retailers, and other industry players to dismiss the risk in the future. Most attacks have been “proof-of-concept” attacks that have failed to persist in the wild. Some people have even accused the antivirus vendors of creating a scare to promote sales of unnecessary products. However, it would be foolish to ignore the evidence of potential vulnerabilities in the mobile ecosystem as smartphones take a larger role in business activity. Criminals consistently exploit the channels that provide the easiest and most profitable returns. These channels have not so far included mobile devices, but this has mainly been due to lack of opportunity. The situation will change dramatically once wider use is made of mobile devices to access financial facilities or data that is useful for the perpetrators of fraudulent activities. The consumer perspective must also be taken into account. Few people have yet experienced a mobile malware attack, and even fewer have suffered any significant consequences. While this is reassuring, it raises the risk of a lack of vigilance and a lack of caution by users at a time when the actual threat is becoming more real. Two of the major commercial attractions of mobile devices are their ubiquity (virtually everyone has one) and their flexibility (they provide...
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