SOURCE: Airwide Solutions

May 19, 2008 07:00 ET

Value of Data on Wireless Devices on the Rise: Leads to Increase in Theft and Security Concerns Worldwide

Mobile Security Market Leader Outlines Action Plan for Protecting Owners of Smartphones and Other Handsets

BURLINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2008) - Airwide® Solutions, the leading provider of next-generation mobile messaging and mobile internet infrastructure, applications and solutions, forecasts significant mobile security threats will escalate due to the ballooning usage of smartphones and the increasing value of information stored on these devices. In conjunction with this projection, Airwide has outlined a three-pronged strategy for operators to protect themselves and their subscribers from privacy and information loss threats due to lost or stolen handsets.

Handset theft has been a growing problem globally, with 800,000* phones reported stolen in the UK in 2006 and 600,000* stolen in the same year in the US. Gartner predicts that handset theft in the U.S. alone will total 10 million per year by 2009. An increasing percentage of these lost handsets are smartphones, putting subscribers at risk of losing not only contact information but sensitive company information and personal data such as social security numbers, PIN codes, passwords, bank account information, company financial data and other proprietary information. Other at-risk content includes information about contacts like birthdates and contact information, access to highly personal data on social networking sites like Facebook, and invaluable pictures and videos taken on the mobile device.

Simultaneously, the use of smartphones is exploding. Canalys, a mobile analyst firm, forecasts that cumulative global shipments of smartphones will pass the one billion mark by 2012. Additionally, Strategy Analytics predicts that in 2008 and 2009 a combined 500 million smart devices will be sold globally -- more than have been sold cumulatively since the beginning of the decade. Airwide has outlined three key strategies mobile operators can implement to protect their subscribers' valuable information in the event that a device is lost or stolen:

--  Deploy technology such as an Equipment Identity Register (EIR) which
    allows a phone to be instantly disabled on the network once it is reported
    stolen.
--  Deploy technology that can lock and wipe data from stolen smartphones.
    Be sure that these two technologies are integrated so that after the
    initial theft report the EIR will also trigger wiping and locking the phone
    to prevent further use.
--  Use extension technologies that offer a demographic view of devices on
    the network.  With a better view of real time inventory on their networks
    operators can take better preventive measures against theft and fraud.
    

"Protecting subscribers from theft or loss of the device will be one of the most important features operators can offer in the coming years," said Jay Seaton, CMO for Airwide Solutions. "With significant increases in the use of smartphones, subscribers and companies will need guarantees that if the handset is lost or stolen, the valuable data within will be protected and secured. Operators implementing these steps to guarantee the integrity of subscriber information in the event of loss can assure current and prospective subscribers that their data will be protected. Most importantly, this will enable operators to reduce churn by subscribers that find out after the fact that their data was not protected."

Airwide's Anti-Fraud solution is a comprehensive security solution that uses real-time device intelligence and control to detect, investigate, and prevent handset-related fraud. It uses the rich capabilities of AirGuard EIR to flag and investigate security threats such as SIM cloning, handset cloning, and black market handsets. In addition, AirGuard EIR's device control capabilities allow operators to lock handsets to subscriptions thus reducing subsidy fraud, and deactivate and wipe data from handsets associated with any type of fraud, loss or theft, thereby reducing risk of compromised data.

In deploying such an Anti-Fraud solution, operators are able to ensure that high-value devices on the network, for example iPhones, are only subsidized for use with a contract account and that they can lock the phones to specific post paid accounts on their network. Should a subscriber attempt to use a pre-paid SIM in an iPhone locked to a contract account, the phone will not work on their network.

Airwide's AirGuard EIR has been deployed in 53 operators in more than 30 countries. More than 110 million subscribers are protected by AirGuard EIR and the system has been integrated with every major networking vendor's hardware.

About Airwide Solutions

Airwide Solutions is the leading provider of next-generation mobile messaging and wireless internet infrastructure, applications and solutions. Its products help more than 120 wireless operators worldwide drive mobile messaging usage and revenues and enables them to leverage multiple delivery channels and next-generation infrastructure in new and more powerful ways. With a history of industry firsts -- including the first text message ever sent, the introduction of the first SMS router, the first A2P MMS push gateway and mobile service control which enables mobile context, personalization and profiling -- the company continues to pioneer new technologies. Airwide's open, tiered Fusion architecture offers mobile operators advanced revenue options, a practical pathway to Mobile Messaging 2.0 and a foundation to bridge mobile messaging and mobile internet.

Airwide Solutions operates globally with offices in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Africa. For more information about Airwide Solutions, please visit www.airwidesolutions.com.

Copyright © 2008 Airwide Solutions Inc. All rights reserved. Airwide is a registered trademark of Airwide Solutions Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

*Source: The UK Home Office

*Source: Yahoo Finance, Bach, David "Ten Steps to Cell Phone Security" April 23, 2007

Contact Information

  • For further information please contact:
    Brenda Suarez
    Airwide Solutions
    Email: Email Contact
    Tel: 781-229-2406 xt. 2731

    Gemma Yates
    MiLiberty
    Email: Email Contact
    Tel: +44 (0) 207-751-4444

    Lisa Rivero
    PAN Communications
    Email: Email Contact
    Tel: 978-474-1900