Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Smart Phones: How Secured Are They?

Well the Global Mobile conference in Barcelona has come and gone again. I don’t know whether it’s just me but I do still miss the event when it was held in Cannes. There was something about the location and all those intimate parties on the boats. C’est la vie but perhaps even more so is the move from technology to the joys of understanding the consumer proposition. Applications are the name of the game and I must admit that even I am getting a bit excited with all these iPhone gizmos. There is something quite fascinating standing in the supermarket waving your mobile phone over the barcode of products to see how much that item might cost down the road. For those of you interested the application is called RedLaser and costs just $1.99.

To me the theme this year was very much about smart phones and how everybody is expecting this market in particular to really pick up in 2010. And yet there wasn’t very much about the security of these smart phones but we know from the PC world that when you have multi application devices connected to the internet that security problems will follow. You may have gathered from our lead article this month that the security of payment systems for example has moved from the smart card to the terminal or in this case the mobile phone.

It was brought home to me this month when I came to upgrade my mobile phone, it’s a bit like an electronic handbag as it contains all my personal data and dare I admit it not that well protected. So what would happen if you lose your phone? I think most of us would need to worry. I couldn’t resist asking David Everett about this problem and after getting somewhat bored about Cloud Computing and keeping everything in the sky the discussion came to a short end when I reminded him about how often he seems to have a flat battery.

Anyway where does that leave most of us? Where do you store the data on your phone, is it in the SIM card, the mobile phone memory or the SD memory card plugged in the side? It turns out and I don’t think I ever really knew that it’s in the mobile phone main memory, where the phone goes is where my data goes and I can’t just take it out when I come to change phones.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that the SIM doesn’t seem to be doing very much for most people apart from the basic phone operations. And yes you’re dying to ask me, how about NFC, surely that means all the applications will be going in the SIM card. Well sorry to disappoint you but as far as I can see NFC is still stuck on the commercial issues about how you might share the SIM card which is the only bit in the phone the Network Operator controls and they don’t seem to be rushing to make it available. I saw somewhere that Nokia has cancelled its planned 6216 NFC phone. Lots of talk about how the proposition needs to be improved but I wonder if it has anything to do with the SWP (Single Wire Protocol) which I gather means that the SIM card has to be shared – surely not?

Patsy Everett

You can check the link for more information:

No comments:

Post a Comment