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Turning mobile security risk into revenue 

There is no doubt that security is one of the greatest challenges – and barriers – facing the mobile marketplace today. But mobile security also represents a massive opportunity, particularly for telecom operators and technology providers.

Turning mobile security


The reality is that – as consumers and enterprises become increasingly reliant on mobile technology – the demand for mobile security solutions has spiked. Consumers are worried that all of their personal data that now resides on their smartphones – contacts, bank account numbers, emails and so on – will fall prey to identity thieves and crooks. The risk for corporations is higher still as mobile devices become integrated into the office environment and start to be used to access sensitive company information, customer records and valuable intellectual property.


As a result, ‘trust’ has become the byword of the mobile era. Consumers need to trust that their data and information is being kept securely when using mobile devices and services, while corporations need to trust that their service providers, technology environments and employees are adhering to their security protocols.

Creating opportunity from challenge

Herein lies the opportunity for telecom operators and technology providers. Working in partnership with Forrester Research, KPMG International examined the current mobile security market and looked at some of the key indicators for future success in this area.


We found that there are significant opportunities for telecom and technology organizations to achieve growth from mobile security. Indeed, there are already a number of telecom and technology companies making strong businesses out of mobile security solutions and creating new and sustainable revenue streams.


In the resulting report, Mobile Security: from risk to revenue, some of KPMG’s telecom and technology leaders from around the world took a look at these new opportunities and offer some of their own perspectives based on their experiences in the market.

Telecom operators leverage their position

Given the trend towards more commoditized data volume businesses, it seems inevitable that – regardless of how much volume mobile creates – telecom operators and carriers will need to differentiate themselves and renew their businesses to survive in longer-term.


We believe that those operators and carriers that can build and deploy smart security services built on top of their data traffic will not only deliver a superior and secure experience to their customers; they will also generate new and sustainable growth opportunities and revenue streams. Some of these opportunities include:


  • Delivering personal ‘trust’ services to consumers: Includes targeted security services such as personal fraud watch and management, consumer app risk management and personal trust management.
  • Developing consumer identity management services: Operators and carriers can combine location information with detailed customer information to become third party consumer identify providers (IdP).
  • Providing device and application management services: This would combine the benefits of consolidated telecom and mobile management billing with single-sourced support service and simplified vendor management.
  • Offering mobile security services: The shift away from fixed infrastructure opens a valuable opportunity for carriers and operators to help organizations manage their security environment.

Unique technology solutions to help secure the mobile marketplace

Mobile is a veritable hothouse for technology innovation. What’s more, it’s still a fairly level playing field which means that small and nimble boutique firms with an interesting technology alternative to offer can compete head-to-head with more established players.


While the mobile security field is still somewhat nascent (it has, after all, only been 6 years since the commercial introduction of the first smartphone), the report found that there are a number of innovative security technologies and services rapidly emerging on the stage, creating new opportunities for small tech players and traditional stalwarts alike.


  • Developing location-based security services: Adding real-time location information to security services offers security leaders greater context which, in turn, contributes to the robustness of decision making.
  • Delivering enterprise-integration-as-a-service: There is a growing need for technology service providers that are able to integrate mobile applications into enterprise back-end services through a standard set of APIs (application programming interface), SDK (software development kit) or app-wrapping service.
  • Offering secure content services: This includes the ability to offer separately hardened, separately certified, and vertically focused content services for critical and confidential business content.
  • Deploying device and application virtualization technologies: Virtualization technologies look to provide virtual segregation, deployment flexibility, and seamless user experiences to help effectively segregate corporate content from personal data on mobile devices.
  • Creating hardware-assisted security assurance technologies: Hardware-based security innovations, such as general purpose secure co-processors, and those that support encryption and biometrics, can add trust and verifiability in the mobile transaction value chain.

Too good an opportunity to waste

True; mobile security business models are only just emerging and the field will undoubtedly open up a host of new opportunities for telecom and technology companies in the future.


But given the speed of the technology’s adoption and the increased sensitivity of the traffic, we believe that industry leaders would be wise to start considering how they might transform their organizations to serve this new and growing market.

 

 By Alfred Koch, KPMG in Germany

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