Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

5/21/2009
02:49 PM
50%
50%

Tech Road Map: 3G Security Is Getting Better, But It's Still Incomplete

Safeguarding wireless traffic in transit is only part of the equation. Pay attention to devices and endpoints, too.

With more organizations using mobile broadband networks, IT managers should be very concerned about security. Safeguarding data as it travels the airwaves may be only part of a mobile security policy -- enterprises must secure their devices and the data they store -- but the airwaves are a good place to start.

The good news about wireless security is that today's mobile broadband networks have some enhanced security functions built in. The latest 3G technologies, including WiMax, have robust encryption options. AT&T and T-Mobile provide High Speed Packet Access with a 128-bit Kasumi encryption algorithm. CDMA2000, offered by Sprint and Verizon, sports 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard encryption. WiMax also uses AES.

InformationWeek Reports

Encryption Not Guaranteed
The bad news is that there are major shortfalls with AES. One is that AES activation is largely optional on the part of operators. AT&T says its Kasumi encryption is always on, but Verizon wouldn't say whether that's the case for its encryption option. Moreover, even if your operator uses encryption, your users may roam onto a network that doesn't. And a 2G connection has much less robust encryption mechanisms than 3G, which are considered easy to defeat.

Finally, channel encryption only extends to an intermediate point within the cellular network. After that, data travels unencrypted until it reaches the far end of a connection, where most communication is again locked down.

DIG DEEPER
Go Mobile
Figuring out 3G/4G mobile broadband is worth the effort.
Some operators offer network VPNs or private circuits, e.g., frame relay, for the unencrypted portion of your data's journey, so there are some options on the back end if you have a lot of data business with an operator. But these options can be complicated. Even if your radio link is reasonably secure, there's the problem of users connecting via other access networks, such as unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots. Wi-Fi capability is the norm for laptops and increasingly is available on smartphones.

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
6 Small-Business Password Managers
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/8/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18986
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Pimcore before 6.2.2 allow attackers to brute-force (guess) valid usernames by using the 'forgot password' functionality as it returns distinct messages for invalid password and non-existing users.
CVE-2019-18981
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Pimcore before 6.2.2 lacks an Access Denied outcome for a certain scenario of an incorrect recipient ID of a notification.
CVE-2019-18982
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
bundles/AdminBundle/Controller/Admin/EmailController.php in Pimcore before 6.3.0 allows script execution in the Email Log preview window because of the lack of a Content-Security-Policy header.
CVE-2019-18985
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Pimcore before 6.2.2 lacks brute force protection for the 2FA token.
CVE-2019-18928
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Cyrus IMAP 2.5.x before 2.5.14 and 3.x before 3.0.12 allows privilege escalation because an HTTP request may be interpreted in the authentication context of an unrelated previous request that arrived over the same connection.