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Mobile security set to be the next big threat

Security outfit McAfee (opens in new tab) released the results of a survey which shows that an overwhelming number of people have showed concerns over mobile malware.

The report's release coincides with the Mobile World Congress, formerly known as 3GSM, in Barcelona.

The McAfee Mobile Security Report 2008 showed that almost 75 percent of mobile phone users questioned were worried about the security of online services such as banking, downloads and ticketing, when they are delivered wirelessly to their mobiles.

A whopping 95 percent did not have any protection against malware viruses or were not sure whether they were protected or not.

Currently, the majority of security issues affect desktop users rather than mobile users - Greg Day, a security Analyst at McAfee (opens in new tab), puts it at 1 out of every 100 affected users, this is bound to change in the next few years.

Mobile security is set to become a substantial revenue generator for security companies as more mobile phones turn into smartphones and deliver features that have been long been the reserve of desktop computers.

Most smartphones can now run fully grown operating systems that come with applications capable of running Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word or Excel, all potential targets for criminals to spew their malicious codes.

"Concerns about specific mobile security risks or the loss of credibility in the reliability of services is a crucial issue for operators, particularly in mature markets. Yet, this research clearly highlights that consumer fears are growing in tandem with increased mobile functionality," said Victor Kouznetsov, senior vice president of McAfee Mobile Security.

"Retaining consumer confidence will prove critical in ensuring life value and listening to the end user is becoming ever more important in creating innovative and intuitive services which subscribers will want, and trust, to use and are prepared to pay for," Kouznetsov added.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.