Report: Enterprises Leaving Themselves Vulnerable to Cell Phone Call Interception
December 3, 2009
Sensitive information is discussed as often on mobile phones as in email, yet less than one in five companies protect themselves, says a survey by ABI Research. The results indicate that the majority of large and medium businesses are failing to adequately protect themselves against the growing threat of mobile voice call interception; leaving them vulnerable to loss of sensitive and confidential corporate information.
Businesses clearly recognize the threat of cell phone interception: three-quarters of the surveyed corporations have asecurity policy covering cell phone calling and four out of five IT professionals surveyed believe that cell phones are equally or more vulnerable to interception than email. Yet, the research shows that while mobile phones and email are both used routinely to communicate confidential information - with 79 percent of organizations that discuss sensitive or confidential information over mobile doing so at least weekly and 51 percent daily - only 18 percent have explicit mobile voice call security solutions in place.
"Effective email security has become routine but our research shows most businesses do not apply anything like the same level of robust security to cell phone calls. Companies that do not respond are exposing themselves to attack," said Stan Schatt Vice President and Practice Director, Healthcare and Security, ABI Research.
Security of mobile voice calls is not limited to interception of radio waves between a cell phone and a base station mast, the report noted: interception risks occur at various segments along a call path which may involve multiple network operators in a variety of countries each having a different levels of security measures and risks.