Telecom providers and tech firms see significant opportunities in mobile security, according to the Mobile Security: from Risk to Revenue report released last month by KPMG International. But success in this emerging market sector will depend on organizations building and leveraging consumer trust.
Based on research conducted by Forrester Research and the experience of leaders within KPMG’s Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice, the report, Mobile Security: from Risk to Revenue identifies a number of emerging and nascent opportunities where telecom and technology organizations are particularly well-positioned to achieve growth from mobile security.
“It looks like everyone is worried about mobile security nowadays.” notes Gheorghe Vlad, Manager within the Management Consulting practice in KPMG in Romania. “If today the personal data residing on mobile devices is mostly about contacts, messages or emails it’s no surprise for anyone that tomorrow we will have much more sensitive information such as financial data (e.g. bank account numbers, credit cards data), sensitive company information, customer records or even valuable property” continues Gheorghe. “As such, people will be more and more concerned that all this personal data could be disclosed or even stolen by identity thieves and crooks. The risk for corporations is even higher.” he concludes.
The report emphasized that not less than 62% of the interviewees are concerned about identity theft while 41 percent said they do not want their information to be permanently recorded and accessible to others, and there is no surprise in that. A complementary study on the free mobile apps issued by Appthority found that 96 percent of all free apps in Apple App Store and Google Play share data with third parties and 76 percent of the top 50 most popular free apps are associated with risky or privacy-invasive behaviors (www.appthority.com/appreport.pdf).
But what are the mobile and tech companies doing to cope with this? The report shows that some mobile carriers and operators are already focused on leveraging their position within the network to deliver services such as traffic filtering and performance monitoring as well as app store management and secure cloud storage to address the risks mentioned above. For example, mobile operators and carriers could focus on delivering personal ‘trust’ services to consumers such as personal fraud watches and management, application risk management services, or other services such as identity management, loyalty program management or privacy monitoring.
According to the KPMG report, telcos and tech firms will need to rethink their value proposition and redefine their relationships with their customers to truly capitalize on this new market. Similarly, the report finds that while the security and privacy market is still nascent, a number of innovative security technologies and services have been rapidly emerging from technology firms and service providers in the mobile space. Some are looking to leverage their data and access to customer information to develop location-based security services and hardware-assisted security assurance technologies. Others are focused on the enterprise market by offering new solutions such as enterprise-integration-as-a-service or device and application virtualization technologies.
The report notes that the ability to build and leverage trust in the market will be the key success factor for those seeking to capitalize on new opportunities in mobile security. But it will take more than a clean bill of health; players in this space will also need to be open and transparent with their customers to foster a stronger and more trusting relationship.
“Success waits for no one” says Ciprian Negura, Senior Manager of KPMG in Romania’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. “Much like the technology itself, mobility-enabled business models are rapidly evolving and creating new opportunities in mobile security for those in the telecom and technology sectors. Success, however, will require not only a keen sense of the shifting marketplace and customer demands, but also a strong capability to develop and deploy new services at the speed at which the market demands.” he continues. “And above all, partnerships, in particular, will be critical. Like it or not, neither telecom nor technology companies can (at this point) deliver a full range of end-to-end solutions without developing mutual partnerships with clients, service providers and even each other.” concluded Ciprian.
Mobile Security: from Risk to Revenue was developed in partnership with Forrester Research. Analysis was provided by KPMG’s Global TMT practice, which examined the current mobile security market and some of the key indicators of future success in the sector to identify and define new opportunities for telecom and technology organizations. Analysis and commentary was provided by leaders from KPMG in the US, the UK, Germany and Australia, as well as interviews with business leaders from US-based communications provider AT&T and UK-based Sophos, a mobile security technology developer and provider.