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...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me