Mobile Security Research - Information Technology Assignment Sample

Information Technology Assignment Sample on Research on Mobile Security

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Information Technology Assignment Question

Current mobile technology has almost transformed mobile phones and tablets into normal PCs that they can flexibly install various applications with different usages. This enables the mobile devices to play a bigger role in production and broadens the borders of enterprise information system. However, it also provides a hotbed for the malware to spread them onto mobile devices to reach different illegal purposes (Leavitt, 2005). According to the statistics, there is a significant increase of the security exploits attempted on the mobile devices in order to attain illegal profits or the sensitive information, and the device owners are becoming more severe victims in the information warfare (Niekerk & Maharaj, 2010). Currently, complex attacking techniques and strategies are being migrated to mobile devices by cyber criminals. According to research findings (Juniper Networks, Inc, 2012), there is more mobile malware than ever before, and the malware has become smarter and more stealthy to avoid detection and hinder analysis.

Possible research questions:

1.       What is the current situation of mobile phone security?

2.       What is the major security assessment process/processes that are available used to protect data in the mobile world?

3.       What is the current development of the defense technique/strategies for mobile security?

Information Technology Solution on Research on Mobile Security

Abstract of Mobile Security Research

The purpose of this research is to assess the security concerns for modern mobile devices. In this era of ubiquitous mobile services, the research intends to explore the current situation of mobile devices, and their vulnerability towards security breach. It also intends to evaluate the primary areas where susceptibility of security breaches remains high, and the possible capability building exercise which could be done for ensuring protection. An attempt would also be made to analyze the modern techniques and strategies, in terms of current developments, to combat these threats.

Introduction and background

Mobile services have become an indispensable part of everyday life. The primary usage of mobile phones is driven by the ease of performing a variety of ubiquitous services (Oliveira, et al., 2013). An increasingly central important is being played by smartphones in influencing the ways in which people get entertained. Apart from that, the ways in which people communicate and network has also changed dramatically (Dye, 2013). Whether it is the convenience of internet banking, or online shopping, smartphones have made a huge impact in the lives of the people. With developing innovative technologies, there are several advancements occurring in the mobile phone industry. These innovations are primarily centered on performance improvements, storage enhancements, application support and enhancement in capabilities, etc. Yet for every new kind of innovation, there is an associated corollary risk. For example: Application storage allows unprecedented access to a huge variety of programs, but at the same time serves as a fertile environment for malware distribution amongst the users. Similarly, the improved capabilities and power, allow the phones to be used for a number of business purposes (Enck, 2011), but at the same time makes the system susceptible to exposure of critical corporate data and information. While mature security applications are ubiquitous in laptops, a majority of mobile devices is devoid of robust security mechanisms (Enck, 2011)

Literature review

According to Gartner's report, more than 2.2 billion smartphones were sold worldwide in 2014 (Cassandra, 2014), of which 75% are prone to security breaches (Mariantonietta, 2012). It stresses that most of the breaches occur due to misuse and misconfiguration of applications (Wright, 2012). Most of the time these malware spread through distinct vectors, like links to websites containing the malicious code, or infected programs transferred through Bluetooth (Xuetao, 2012). The primary goals of malware infection are theft of personal and critical information. Malware can exist in various topologies. They can be in the form of self-replicating viruses, or worms, which move from one network to another, and consume a lot of network bandwidth. Apart from this, malware can also be in the form of Trojans which appear to be useful applications, but running malicious code in the background (Sujithra & Padmavati, 2012). Most of the deadliest forms of malware are those which damage the operating system of the mobile altogether, Rootkits are one such category of malware (Ongtang, 2012). Another dangerous category of malware, is a botnet (Zheng, 2012), which gives the attacker the ability to remote control them (Talha & Kirmani, 2014), and thus find huge misuse for organized crime activities (Timur, 2014)

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As illustrated in Figure 1 above, the primary kind of protection needed would be in the form of a 'Proactive malware protection system' (Enck, 2011). The effective infrastructural capability building would be needed to protect against malware delivered via SMS, Bluetooth, MMS, or infrared transmission method. For the security team of the organizations, it is important to frequently circulate virus definition updates within the organization (Lawton, 2012). Similarly, capability building would also be needed to perform real-time scanning of incoming files, scan of memory cards, internal memory, and instantaneously generates alerts in case malware is detected. The second area in which much has to be done for capability building is, the 'Loss and Theft protection' of mobile phones. It is important to understand that, lost and stolen devices pose a huge risk, and hence need the support of mobile device management capabilities. One such capability could be in the form of using GPS (Cassandra, 2014), to estimate the precise location of the mobile phone. It could also be in the form of assurance for remote backup of data so that it can be put to immediate use, in the event that the device is lost or stolen. Some exceptional capabilities need to be developed to remotely initiate backups, locking, and sensitive data removal operations (Lawton, 2012). The third important area of capability building is in the form of mechanisms to protect data against communication interception. One important method of doing so, is to employ VPNsv (Mariantonietta, 2012), which can encrypt all kinds of communication that occur between mobile devices and the corporate network. Similarly, consumers may avail the services of device monitoring from their service providers. This can help in preventing cyberbullying, sexting, and create arrangements for the generation of autonomic alerts for security breach scenarios.
A thorough insight into the current operating platforms of various kinds of smartphones gives some great insights on the relative weakness and strengths of these operating environments…

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Research methodology

The research is exploratory in nature, with the focus being on analyzing the relevant literature and case studies to create an assessment framework for mobile security. Secondary sources of data would be used for this research. Most of the data would be in the form of industry reports, case studies, academic journals, and certain specific print media publications on data security management. Effective methods would be adopted to ensure the authenticity of the sources of information. The data from various sources would be subsequently collated and integrated into a logical form. Qualitative analysis would be performed on the data, so as to arrive at important findings and key conclusions. The entire methodology is illustrated below in Figure 3…

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Expected contribution of this research

This research would enable us to understand some key questions pertaining to mobile phone security management. The key findings and analysis can serve as a framework for security assessment of current mobile phone management. It would help us better understand the nature of threats, the behavior of applications, and the security levels of various communication channels that we use. To some extent, the findings would serve as an important guiding tool, both from future mobile security assessment, as well as from security policy enforcement perspective.

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