Keeping an eye on mobile devices

A lack of security from network carriers for millions of Android users is becoming a serious security risk, especially for those who use their mobile devices in the workplace.

02/19/2013


ISS SourceMobile devices are continuing their growth curve in the manufacturing automation environment, but it if you look at just how carriers are providing updates to Android devices, you may want to hold off on the BYOD phenomenon.

The lack of updates leaves millions of Android users without an update for up to 16 months, said Chris Soghoian principal technologies and senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at the at the Kaspersky Lab Security Analyst Summit (SAS) in Puerto Rico Monday.

“People are putting money ahead of safety and security when it comes to the Internet,” Soghoian said.

Whether you like Apple products or not, Soghoian said they do control what goes on with their platform. If they need to update the OS, then they will send out an upgraded system to download. It is really that simple.

However, with Google, it is not that simple at all. Instead, it can be a difficult task to update Google’s Android system with some of the carriers, he said.

Soghoian did say the update issue was not the fault of Google as they are quick to fix problems when they appear. The problem becomes how quickly patches get out to users.

“With Android, the situation is worse than a joke, it’s a crisis,” Soghoian said. “With Android, you get updates when the carrier and hardware manufacturers want them to go out. Usually, that’s not often because the hardware vendor has thin [profit] margins. Whenever Google updates Android, engineers have to modify it for each phone, chip, radio card that relies on the OS.”

“Consumers are not getting updates when they have to,” he said. “That is a security threat.”

With Android malware continuing to rise and consumers falling victim, just how do you get the carriers to act faster to patches that need to go out?

Soghoian said Washington need to get involved. Government needs to get involved to force companies to comply to keep devices safe and secure.

“We have millions of phones running insecure software and no one is doing anything about it,” Soghoian said.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.