Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG's Information Protection & Business Resilience team, highlights that owners of stealth 'black phones' are susceptible to attacks from cyber criminals. He says:
“The new stealth ‘black phones’ target privacy-sensitive customers who want to hide below the radar of the growing surveillance of mobile communications. Yet privacy shouldn’t be limited to a select few handsets for individuals who have something to hide; privacy should be default for all. The ability to keep data safe and secure without having to think about it should feature in all devices so that all calls, messages, files and browsing data is kept private. ‘Black phones’ could be the start of a new trend for all phones becoming more secure."
“By owning a ‘black phone’ a user could become a target as it acts as a red flag to criminals, highlighting that there’s something to hide. As the devices attract and house high value data, attackers will be inclined to break in - it's a bit like carrying family photos in a security van full of gold, when the van is targeted and raided the gold will not only vanish but the photos will probably go too, it’s better for the photos to just be kept at home where nobody will look twice at.”
Bonner concludes: “Some of the threats these type of products aim to protect against aren't realistic for most users. They might be a cool gadget for wannabe James Bonds but business users need to worry a lot more about the applications on their device and the end-to-end protections they have in place."
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Nahidur Rahman, KPMG Press Office
T: 020 7694 8812
M: 0788191 6975
KPMG Press Office: +44 (0) 207 694 8773
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.