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IT Experts Say Government & Wireless Industry Need to Work Together on Cybersecurity

96 percent say government should allow wireless companies to exchange information to help identify vulnerabilities and protect users from threats

77 percent state wireless industry is better equipped to define cybersecurity standards

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to an IT decision maker survey released today by CTIA-The Wireless Association® at MobileCON™, 96 percent said that the government should allow wireless companies to exchange information to help identify vulnerabilities and protect users from cyberfraud. In addition, 77 percent said the industry is better equipped to define cybersecurity standards. While there were differences of opinion when asked which cybersecurity challenges and issues were most important, these experts recognized that communications were vital to protect consumers and mobile networks among the many companies throughout the mobile ecosystem and between the private and public sectors on cybersecurity.


When asked how the industry and government ought to proceed on cybersecurity, 68 percent stated the industry and government should share information on threats and work collaboratively to define standards. Despite companies not being able to share this vital information today with each other, 89 percent said that the mobile industry is fair, good or excellent in addressing cybersecurity and offering solutions.

The cybersecurity vulnerability of consumers, in general, was apparent and clearly top-of-mind with the 500 IT decision makers surveyed. In response to being asked if smartphones were vulnerable to attacks (e.g., spam, malware, phishing, Trojans and botnets, etc.) a little more than 86 percent said yes, while about 88 percent said tablets were vulnerable.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they thought of cybersecurity for mobile devices the same way as computers. To better protect consumers, 95 percent said application stores, mobile networks, smartphone operating systems and applications need to work together to provide end-to-end cybersecurity.

When asked to distribute 100 points among the following mobile cybersecurity challenges, protection against hacking of company info/systems was first (29.5) and followed closely by protecting personal computers used for work (22.1). Protection against hacking of: work information in the cloud (17.7), government info/systems (15.6) and smartphone/tablet used for work (14.9) rounded out the most important challenges.

Using the same 100 point system, respondents were almost split evenly among the relative importance of four different cybersecurity issues: lack of cybersecurity solutions and services (27.7); lack of consumer education (25.7); lack of info sharing and cooperating within mobile industry (24.5); and lack of info sharing and cooperation between industry and government (21.9).

"The wireless industry recognizes the importance of keeping our customers and our communications networks safe and secure from cyberthreats. As the IT professionals have identified in this survey, in order to do this, public and private organizations must be able to share information so we can better secure our networks and protect our customers," said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA. "This week's MobileCON show is a perfect place for the wireless industry to continue to demonstrate our commitment to cybersecurity and to educate our consumers who play an important role in protecting their personal information and our communications networks."

The survey was conducted in July 2012 with 500 IT professionals who worked for a variety of different sized companies, ranging from those with fewer than 100 employees to more than 5,000 employees. The IT decision maker survey is available at: (PDF). To see charts of some of the statistics, please visit: (PDF).  

CTIA-The Wireless Association® ( is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association