BARCELONA -- Cloudmark, Inc., the leading provider of carrier-grade messaging anti-abuse solutions, is introducing Cloudmark Authority for Mobile Operators, an end-to-end messaging security platform designed to block all categories of mobile threats. Cloudmark predicts mobile messaging threats will escalate in the next 12-24 months as more consumers receive their personal emails on mobile devices. In North America alone, the number of mobile email users will jump more than 300% from 2006 to 2009 based on Gartner Group estimates, driving traffic on wireless networks up significantly.
The percentage of email determined to be spam, phishing or virus attacks reached 95% in 2006 according to statistics compiled from Cloudmarks Global Threat Network. This same high rate of abuse will extend to mobile devices that access personal or corporate emails. As a result, mobile operators offering email services will experience large volumes of unwanted and potentially damaging traffic entering their network, costing millions of dollars in network upgrades, operations, and customer support. The issue of mobile messaging abuse has been recognized by the GSM Association which brought together leading mobile operators to adopt a code of procedures for stopping mobile spam.
In addition to consuming valuable bandwidth, mobile threats can potentially damage device software, invade consumer privacy, breach corporate security and hinder the success of mobile commerce. According to a recent report by the TowerGroup, more than 200 mobile virus attacks have already been identified, with that number expected to double every six months. In addition, mobile banking and payment services will be increasingly targeted by phishers engaged in fraud and identity theft.
Mobile messaging abuse impacts the entire value chain service providers, device manufacturers, m-commerce players, IT departments, and end users, says David Ferris, founder of Ferris Research. Malware authors are clearly aiming to broaden their reach onto pocket-sized devices. The risk of mobile threats will rise significantly this year. Increasingly powerful devices are allowing malware authors to achieve these aims, jeopardizing consumer privacy and corporate security. Mobile operators would be well advised to address this issue -- those that don't risk customer churn.