Juniper Networks has announced the opening of the Juniper Global Threat Center to provide around-the-clock, global monitoring of mobile security threats to consumers and enterprises. The facility, based in Columbus, Ohio, is the first and only center dedicated to tracking, responding and researching threats to mobile devices, including viruses, spyware and other security vulnerabilities that can expose a user's personal, professional and sensitive information.

Mobile devices have become an effortless way of connecting into corporate networks regardless of location. Yet, just as easily, they expose corporations to malware, exploits and loss and theft, which pose significant dangers to today's global mobile workforce. In fact, research conducted by Juniper Networks found that nearly 80 percent of users access their employer's network without their employer's knowledge or permission and 59 percent do so every day. Consumers are no better off -- they use smartphones for mobile banking and storing personal information such as bank account numbers and passwords, placing sensitive data at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

In the first half of 2011, the Juniper Global Threat Center will release the "State of Mobile Security 2010 Report," a report that analyzes the state of mobile security. Preliminary findings to date include:
  • Analysis of Android Market applications capable of malicious activity showed that 1 out of every 20 applications requested permissions that could allow the application to place a call without the user's knowledge.
  • A Fortune 15 company found that 5 percent or 25,000 of its mobile devices were infected with malware.
  • A 250 percent increase in malware from 2009 to 2010.
  • 61 percent of all reported smartphone infections were spyware, capable of monitoring communication from the device.
  • 17 percent of all reported infections were text message Trojans, which charge fees to a device's account holder.
"People are using smartphones to access work files, store personal information, conduct banking and download applications," said Daniel V. Hoffman, chief mobile security evangelist at Juniper Networks. "Yet, while most PCs come with security baked-in, virtually all smartphones remain vulnerable to even basic exploits and attacks. The Juniper Global Threat Center identifies, monitors and responds to evolving threats to mobile devices, ensuring that Juniper customers have the highest possible level of mobile device protection."

The research conducted by the Juniper Global Threat Center is shared with the public and private industry, as well as incorporated into the features and functionality of new and existing products, such as the recently announced Junos® Pulse Mobile Security Suite. The Juniper Global Threat Center's primary focus is to monitor and respond to five key types of threats and vulnerabilities:
  • Malware - Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Spyware
  • Direct Attack - Attacking device interfaces, browser exploits, SMS attacks
  • Physical Compromise - Accessing a device and its data by having physical access from loss or theft
  • Data Communication Interception - Intercepting data as it is transmitted and received
  • Exploitation and Misconduct - Inappropriate communications, data leakage, online predators, bullying, sexting