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Mobile malware fears delay smartphone rollouts

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Fears about mobile viruses have been cited by many firms as a reason for not giving workers advanced handsets, despite the continuing rarity of mobile malware.

Three in five corporations (60 per cent) polled in a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit said concerns about virus infection have held back employee smartphone rollouts.

Around 47 per cent of respondents mentioned cost and complexity as a major obstacle to deployment. Four in five (82 per cent) said mobile networks are at least as much at risk from attack as fixed line networks, despite the fact that malware and the creation of compromised systems that goes with it remain almost exclusively the preserve of PCs and servers connected to fixed line networks.

Corporate concern is based more on scare stories than hard facts, it would seem. Only a quarter of firms quizzed by the Economist Intelligence Unit had actually assessed the possible security risk of issuing staff with smartphones.

Only one in ten firms (10 per cent) had a security architecture that incorporates access by mobile device. Many firms granted mobile access to corporate systems on an ad-hoc basis. The survey of 240 corporate executives worldwide was sponsored by security firm Symantec. ®

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