This Time It's Personal, As Hackers Go Mobile

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Stephen Bonner partner in KPMG's Information Protection and Business Resilience team comments on news that cyber criminals have successfully installed viruses on PCs before they even leave the factory.

He says: "Today's news suggesting hackers can access PCs before they've even been sold must also call into question the security of mobile devices. As businesses and consumers share private data on Tablets and Smart-phones a new avenue is emerging for hackers to tap into and it is a growing area for fraud. In once recent case highlighted in KPMG's Fraud Barometer 340,000 individuals had their personal credit card details stolen from online databases, costing £26.9 million to financial institutions.

"Organisations and their staff have become well-versed in good IT security practice when it comes to PC usage, yet their knowledge is conspicuous by its absence in the world of mobile IT.  They may be aware that malware on their phone gives hackers access to confidential data, but the gap between knowing something and acting on it is giving hackers an unnecessary head start.

"Rather than leave security to chance organisations should reset devices to factory defaults, removing anything from the free 'bloat-ware' programmes that come out of the box.  The rule of thumb should be 'if you don't need it, don't keep it' so that you are in control of what is left to run on your device."

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