Markets Seem Oblivious to Security Risks of Small Smart Mobile Devices

On July 5, 2013, the TechCrunch website posted an article authored by Ms. Natasha Lomas, “Android ‘Master Key’ Security Hole Puts 99% of Devices At Risk of Exploitation”. Despite our hope they will react otherwise, we think consumer markets will continue to operate “as usual” and continue to purchase small, smart mobile devices built on the Android O/S.

As we wrote over a year ago, we think this complacent market attitude will only change if financial institutions retreat from their long standing commitment to absorb the cost of any breaches of online security systems, and start passing them through directly to consumers. We don’t see these institutions changing this position any time soon. Further, the well publicized intention of the U.S. Dept. of Defense, to protect the security of U.S. Ethernet networks and websites, reinforces the reasonableness of our assumption.

One would think an article like this one, by Ms. Lomas, would prompt consumers to look closer at competitive devices from Microsoft®. After all, Windows 8 is a proprietary operating system. Further, we think Microsoft has expended a considerable energy over the last year, or more, to build a brand for itself as THE most secure cloud services provider. But the continued misses of Microsoft’s public relations and marketing communications efforts for consumer markets will likely undermine any advantage they would otherwise gain from this article.

Pricing also plays a role here. Tablets and smartphones built on the Android O/S are, for most consumers, the least expensive option. In contrast, Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet is the most expensive “stock” option (the 64GB version is about $70.00 more expensive than a comparable iPad). Consumers will simply expect each Android OEM to provide them with a fix for the security hole publicized in Ms. Lomas’ article. But even if this hole is plugged, others may soon come to light.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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