Secure smartphones to make computer networks obsolete?

A well respected member of the security industry has today written off computers, claiming smartphones are the way forward to ensure a safer network for all.

Secure smartphone

Computer networks will never be secure and the only way for us to go forward into to a safer future is to move to smartphones.

This was the view of Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive of Kaspersky Labs, who is set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at InfoSecurity 2010 this week.

During at interview with IT PRO at the event, Kaspersky said: "So these [smartphone] technologies are being developed so quick that I think in the future there will be enough [room] to store all your personal data, movies, pictures, and I think then there will be no need in computers because, well for what? You need just a keyboard, screen and network."

However the conversion to using this technology as a replacement for computers is more than just down to their physical attraction.

Kaspersky said: "The major security issue [currently] is are we going to build a secure network? In five or 10 years I would like to get to my retirement [and] I would like to leave this world secure."

"[With] the internet and all these computer based networks... it is not possible to make them all [secure] but services and IT are slowly moving the directions of smartphones - reading emails, browsing the internet, what's next?"

Kaspersky believes that the structure of mobile phone companies and the controls they have are the key to a simple way of securing networks.

"I think that it is much easier to develop the secure design for smartphones because smartphones are under control [from] mobile phone operators [and] they have licenses," he said.

"There is much more regulation and much less freedom," he added.

Further steps would still be needed to entirely secure the network but Kaspersky again thinks this is simple.

He said: "Every device has hardware [and] an ID so the next step is to force everyone to make every phone must have registered owner."

"When you buy a car or if you buy a gun there is a number and registered owner because guns and cars are dangerous. What about digital devices? They are dangerous too so why not have the same regulation for them so they have an ID [and] a registered owner?"

"If you access critical data via the internet on them... information that could be dangerous... and if the mobile phone providers collect this data about critical information, about exchanging data with critical resources, cyber criminals will be easily identified."

Kaspersky concluded cyber criminals may not be a big problem right now in the smartphone industry but they will "follow business opportunities" and move over. However with his plans he thinks the network may well be protected before they even reach their destination.

Read on for more news from InfoSec 2010.

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