U.S. Wireless Industry Maps its Blueprint for Tomorrow's Mobile Cybersecurity

Feb 12, 2013, 09:30 ET from CTIA-The Wireless Association

The wireless industry needs the flexibility, liability protection and ability to communicate with and between each other and with government to continue to protect its networks and its customers

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CTIA-The Wireless Association® released "Today's Mobile Cybersecurity: Blueprint for the Future" white paper, which provides a roadmap for how the wireless industry is building upon its existing solutions to continue to protect its infrastructure and customers for the future. Using its first white paper, "Today's Mobile Cybersecurity: Protected, Secured and Unified" as the basis, this second white paper analyzes ongoing investigations and technical improvements as well as easy-to-understand examples that show how a mobile consumer, depending on  Internet connection type, could become more susceptible to cyberthreats.  

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Throughout the industry – from app developers to infrastructure builders to carriers - wireless companies have invested millions of dollars to keep their networks, software, hardware and devices secure. While cybersecurity is a shared goal for everyone, wireless companies are on the front lines of cyberthreats, which means they're constantly updating and changing their solutions. By allowing these companies flexibility to invest and create solutions, they've been able to build a strong foundation. Yet in today's fast-paced and ever-changing complex threat environment, the U.S. wireless industry must be able to work together and as needed, communicate with the government  to examine threat trends and try to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Developed by CTIA's Cybersecurity Working Group, the second white paper notes that mandates and legislation that create standards leads to uniformity; thereby making it easier for cybercriminals to create malicious products that can be used throughout the wireless industry and serve as a "model" for sale. This ability to commoditize malware is one of the gravest concerns of the industry and the CSWG since these "toolkits" may be sold to those without programming expertise to use in their own attacks, thereby dramatically increasing the number of cyberthreats.

In an effort to provide more advanced solutions, the CSWG's blueprint was based on five major areas: the on-going education of consumers and end users, the security of devices, the development of network-based security policies, the inclusion of authentication and controls for devices and users and the use of cloud technology and networks. The blueprint , and the industry solutions already in place, demonstrate the complexity of the mobile security ecosystem as well as the importance of preventing intrusions, data theft and loss of privacy. As an example, the CSWG lays out three different scenarios on how a mobile user would connect to the Internet through their devices, which shows the possible cyberthreats.

"Each company throughout the wireless ecosystem plays a vital role in protecting its customers, from the app developer to device manufacturer to the carrier to the infrastructure builders. Considering today's wireless industry is significantly different than the one only five years ago, flexibility and industry-driven solutions is the best approach to sound cybersecurity policy to best protect our customers and our communications networks. Paramount is the need for information sharing and liability protections while allowing the wireless industry to continue to innovate," said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA.

"Today's Mobile Cybersecurity: Blueprint for the Future" white paper was developed by CTIA's Cybersecurity Working Group (CSWG), which is comprised of senior representatives from 31 companies throughout the wireless industry. The second white paper is available at: http://ctia.it/12Hc4Jm (PDF). The first white paper, "Today's Mobile Cybersecurity: Protected, Secured and Unified" is available at: http://ctia.it/VBm9lY (PDF).

CTIA-The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

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SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association