The growth of mobile phones and smartphones and applications like Near Field Communications (NFC) has resulted in a rise in mobile vulnerabilities, or weakness in the applications, that can be easily exploited, a study by Hewlett-Packard said today.

According to HP Cyber Security Risk Report 2012, the rate of mobile vulnerabilities have risen rapidly last year compared to 2011.

“The explosive adoption of mobile devices and the applications that drive them has resulted in a corresponding boom in mobile vulnerabilities,” the report said.

The rate of mobile vulnerabilities continues to increase rapidly. It rose by 68 per cent to 266 in 2012 from 158 in 2011, it added.

“The last five years have seen a 787 per cent increase in mobile application vulnerability disclosures, with novel technologies, such as NFC, introducing previously unseen vulnerability types,” the report, which is published annually, said.

NFC technology enables smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity.

The world’s leading PC maker also announced the setting up of HP Security Research (HPSR) organisation, which will provide security intelligence through reports.

HPSR, part of HP Enterprise Security Products (ESP), will lead HP’s security research agenda, HP ESP (South Asia) Chief Solutions Architect Damanjit Uberoi said.

HPSR will leverage HP research groups like HP DVLabs (a research body focusing on developing software security practises) and HP Fortify Security Research, which focuses on developing software security practises, he added.

The organisation will also manage Zero Day Initiative, that focuses on identifying software flaws that have led to cyber attacks and security breaches, he said.

(This article was published on March 14, 2013)
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