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Mobile Network Providers Face a Potential Exodus of 74 Percent of Smartphone Users After a Security Breach
Dec 03, 2012 (05:12 AM EST)
Survey reveals that hacked and insecure smartphones may trigger massive churn among disgruntled customers
BOXBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Crossbeam Systems, Inc., the leading provider of next-generation security platforms for high-performance networks, today released research revealing that compromised security – more than high monthly fees – would be the biggest catalyst for triggering users to change mobile network providers.
An independent survey of smartphone users in the U.S., United Kingdom and Germany was conducted by market research firm Opinion Matters on behalf of Crossbeam. More than 1,000 adult smartphone users were polled in each country to examine usage habits, the importance of mobile security and data services, purchasing considerations, and what would motivate them to switch providers.
According to the survey, 63 percent of global respondents cite high monthly fees as the primary issue that would drive them away from their current mobile network provider, with only five percent citing a lack of security. However, if survey respondents' smartphones were to be compromised by hackers, malware or other security failures, 55 percent would consider changing providers and 19 percent would definitely change providers – leading to a potential exodus of 74 percent of customers.
This finding challenges network providers' conventional thinking about their investment priorities, with most aggressively focusing on building ever faster high-speed network infrastructure and attractive data plans, but less on shoring up their security infrastructure and offering value-added security services and protection to end users and their devices.
"Smartphone users, like most people, don't think about the security of their devices until they've been hacked. This may be misleading mobile network operators to focus less of their attention on customer security and underestimate the risk it creates," said Peter Doggart, senior director of global marketing at Crossbeam. "There is an inadequate level of investment in security compared to other areas of the mobile network. This is a wake-up call for service providers, especially as we're reaching a critical mass of smartphone users worldwide, not to mention the growth of data-enabled endpoints connecting to mobile phone networks, including smartphones, tablets, e-book readers and more. The quantity of threats directed at mobile devices and their level of sophistication are on the rise."
Mobile network providers will be blamed for smartphone attacks, regardless of fault
German smartphone users are much less likely to blame their network provider; almost half (45%) say they would blame themselves before their provider (21%), yet they would be just as likely to leave their provider as their U.S. and U.K. counterparts following a security breach. This is despite the fact that 47 percent of German respondents claim to have security countermeasures (i.e., antivirus software, firewalls, etc.) installed on their smartphones – significantly higher than both the U.S. (35%) and the U.K. (26%). Mobile network providers will ultimately still be held responsible by their customers after a hack.
"The results indicate that mobile network providers will be blamed, regardless of who's at fault," added Doggart. "This more than anything reveals an important opportunity for providers to be proactive about securing their networks in order to gain customers and minimize churn. As smartphone attacks become more prevalent, the service providers who anticipated the increased need for security and took the time to prepare will be in the best competitive position."
The good news: smartphone users are willing to pay extra for security
Loss of personal information tops list of smartphone users' concerns
An encouraging sign for security awareness, 43 percent of respondents were cognizant that their smartphone contained applications that stored or had access to sensitive financial information.
For more information and to download the full survey report, please visit http://www.crossbeam.com/opinion-matters-reg/.
For more information on how Crossbeam's X-Series platform is securing mobile operator networks, please visit: http://www.crossbeam.com/solutions/securing-the-mobile-network/.
Crossbeam Systems and Crossbeam are registered trademarks of Crossbeam Systems, Inc. All other company, product or service names not owned by Crossbeam mentioned in this press release are the property of their respective owners.
Contact: Sharon Dratch
SOURCE Crossbeam Systems, Inc.