Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mobile Security: The pink elephant in the room

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We are probably all familiar with the phrase the pink elephant; a giant creature which is ignored by everyone walking past.

 

Harder to ignore when its dancing

 

So what makes mobile security a pink elephant, blue pig, , red sheep, or some variant of exotically coloured animal? Mostly ignorance: the mobile space is still new and most users haven’t realised that a mobile phone is just like a computer and needs to be protected. In May, a report from Trend Micro said that only 20% of Android users had virus protection, the other 80% were guilty of ignoring the giant pink elephant. Many people don’t notice until something goes wrong.

 
Mobile security is much like, the pink elephant in the field, it is such a colossal issue, and so daunting to consider, that for the majority of people it becomes something to be ignored until it becomes a problem.

 
So why is mobile security so easy to ignore? A large proportion of people treat their smartphones “like a Swiss army knife”. There is nothing inherently worrying about the information these apps require – though it might be a bit embarrassing if some hacker revealed your pace per mile – what they really want is the ability to spam your friends with a phishing SMS.

 
People need to get into the mindset that their identity, destinations, actions, and contacts are a valuable commodity worth protecting; yet for most people if the elephant is charging away from them, they don’t panic until they see it turn around.
If you use your device for more than this Swiss army knife approach; if you enter your bank details into your phone; or download a home banking app you are creating a possible threat to your device. It is your bank accounts and apple accounts that are most valuable. In the case of your Apple accounts, hackers could pay for downloads and “blow out” your balance on in-game purchases.

 
If you use an un-protected mobile device you are leaving yourself open to your details being stolen and used by hackers, for whatever nefarious purpose they devise – whether it is stealing your money direct, or buying £3,000 pounds worth of smurfberries.

 

So what are the actual dangers? A Trojan is the name for an app that pretends to do one thing, and has lots of other processes running behind the scenes. Around half of Trojans send texts to premium rate lines; however, the majority of them are spyware. At the most harmless level spyware wants to know who you are, where you are and what you like.

 
More advanced spyware poses as the official app to gain access to your login information, or logs your key strokes when you log into a website. Far too many internet users use the same email/password combination for everything, so they can gain access to your entire online life. A good example of this is the fake Netflix app that looked almost identical to the real one.

 
In truth the pink elephant analogy isn’t perfect; in fact it’s more of a red herring. People are not purposefully ignoring that gargantuan mass of pinkness. Rather they are just ignorant about the topic, making it not an awkward elephant to be ignored, but something that the general public needs to be educated about rather more than they are at present.

What a Difference a Year Makes

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365 days from PR to new mum and back again

 

This time last year I had just said goodbye to my clients and colleagues to start a new life as a mum. 52 weeks and more than a few sleepless nights later here I am back in the office trying to catch up on everything that’s happened since I left, but where do I start?

 
Now I like to think that I have been keeping abreast of news and business trends. A positive spin on having a baby who’s keen on 6am starts (or earlier) is that I’ve been able to listen to the entire three hours of Radio 4’s Today programme on a daily basis and at least start the day feeling extremely well informed. But that’s not enough. PR – and PR for the mobile industry at that – is unbelievably fast paced and the landscape has changed dramatically both for my clients and for me as a PR professional.

 
In the year that I’ve been away, for example, the mobile world has seen widespread deployment of LTE networks, with 209 predicted to be commercial by year end by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). This move towards 4G, improved 3G coverage and the increasing popularity of Wi-Fi offload has enabled a whole new level of mobile interactivity and content consumption. Supported by huge penetration of ever more sophisticated devices such as the iPhone 5 and the increasing popularity of the tablet, which is expected to generate huge Christmas sales and take off as a leading form factor next year, 2012 really has seen mobile take over from the desktop and laptop. Indeed, the rise of the tablet and the smartphone before it now means we live in a world where users expect to access the same services and experiences, whether browsing, communication, commerce or video, irrespective of the device or their location.

 
Couple this mobile growth with the evolution that has taken place in social media over the past 12 months, and indeed the way in which social network interactions have been impacted by the mobile device, and we are facing a new playing field for communication strategies. Businesses now have more options than ever to reach their target audience and a new set of rules for doing so. Mobile sites and apps are no longer a ‘nice to have’ but an essential part of any communications strategy. Social media, once an add-on to many PR campaigns and run fairly separately, is (or should be) firmly integrated into any comms plan. The growing popularity of newer additions to the social landscape such as Pinterest and Google+ has necessitated a multi-platform and integrated approach rather than a token facebook page or Twitter feed. And as social media interactions have become a mainstream and trusted means of interaction with brands, it seems that in-house communication teams are finally starting to understand the importance of the buy-in and participation of their executives – particularly in B2B communication.

 
So a year on and I find that there’s a lot to learn, re-learn and start putting into practice for clients old and new. This may be a slightly daunting prospect at times but I’m discovering that it’s also a really good thing – forcing me to take a step back and adopt a fresh approach, looking at old problems with new eyes. Maybe everyone should take a year out every now and again?!

Procera Networks chooses Liberty to handle Mobile World Congress 2013 for third year running

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Liberty Comms, the specialist technology communications consultancy, today announced it has been appointed by Procera Networks for the third consecutive year to raise visibility of its products, services and partner initiatives in the run-up to, and during next year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC).

 

 

Procera Networks is at the leading edge of network visibility and policy enforcement, empowering mobile operators and enabling new business models. Procera’s solutions provide the most granular real-time visibility and analytics, leading directly to actionable intelligence and the most advanced personalised services to their subscribers.

Mobile World Congress is the single largest event in the telecoms calendar. Last year’s event attracted more than 67,000 visitors including 3,300 members from print, broadcast and online news outlets from across the globe. The GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, has hired Liberty for the eight consecutive year to manage its onsite media centre and online portal for press registration.

 

Cam Cullen, Vice President Global Marketing at Procera Networks, said: ‘‘Following a successful Mobile World Congress in 2012, Procera has enhanced its market position and brand awareness, and we look forward to conveying a strong thought leadership position further at next year’s event. ‘Having worked with Liberty last year, we have every confidence that it will continue to allow us to broaden the scope of conversation, and remind the media and analyst communities of our full portfolio of expertise in the run up to and during MWC in February.’’

 

Dee Gibbs, Managing Director and Founder of Liberty Communications said: ‘‘We are delighted to be able to work with Procera Networks again. It is a testament to the emphasis we place on client services that Procera have decided to work with us for the third consecutive year; and we look forward to continuing the success and helping them at MWC next year.’’