News Item

More protection for smart phones

 

NPR - Marketplace Morning Report

June 25, 2008

Software firms are starting to focus on security for smart phones to help prevent loss or theft of important data. Jill Barshay reports we could start seeing cell phone viruses as soon as within six months.

Renita Jablonski: There's a good chunk of business that takes advantages of our fears -- products to guard our computers, kids, and homes. Now some software makers want us to be worried enough about our cell phones to pay $30 a year. Jill Barshay has more.

Jill Barshay: Software firms are rolling out new security programs for smart phones such as Blackberries.

Stephen Drake tracks the mobile industry for research firm IDC. He says the programs can back up music or delete key files if a phone is lost.

Stephen Drake: You've probably heard a lot of the news stories around laptops and folks leaving very sensitive data on those devices having them stolen. Well, phones are even more susceptible and in greater number.

Third party applications for these phones are hitting the market.

Jeff Aliber oversees new products at Kaspersky Lab, a big anti-virus software company.

Jeff Aliber: And those applications aren't going to be written with security in mind. The bad guys have recognized that, and as more data value ends up on these smart phones, they'll be ripe for the picking.

Brace yourself: Aliber predicts cell phone viruses will start jangling our nerves in the next six to 18 months.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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