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
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/22/2020
How an Industry Consortium Can Reinvent Security Solution Testing
Henry Harrison, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Garrison,  5/21/2020
10 iOS Security Tips to Lock Down Your iPhone
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  5/22/2020
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
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-13458
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
An issue was discovered in the Image Resizer plugin before 2.0.9 for Craft CMS. There are CSRF issues with the log-clear controller action.
CVE-2020-13459
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
An issue was discovered in the Image Resizer plugin before 2.0.9 for Craft CMS. There is stored XSS in the Bulk Resize action.
CVE-2020-13442
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
A Remote code execution vulnerability exists in DEXT5Upload in DEXT5 through 2.7.1402870. An attacker can upload a PHP file via dext5handler.jsp handler because the uploaded file is stored under dext5uploadeddata/.
CVE-2020-5537
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-25
Cybozu Desktop for Windows 2.0.23 to 2.2.40 allows remote code execution via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-13438
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-24
ffjpeg through 2020-02-24 has an invalid read in jfif_encode in jfif.c.