Over 75 per cent of UK smartphone users would dump their network provider after a security breach

Crossbeam Systems today released research revealing that compromised security – rather than high monthly fees – would be the biggest catalyst for triggering UK smartphone users to change mobile network providers.

The independent blind survey of 1,076 UK adult smartphone users and bill payers, carried out for Crossbeam by Opinion Matters, examined usage habits, the importance of mobile security and data services, purchasing considerations and what would motivate them to switch providers. The survey revealed that 75.6 per cent of those surveyed would change mobile providers if their current, operator-supplied smartphone was compromised by hackers, malware or other security failure. Women were the more likely to switch on security grounds, with 79 per cent of 648 women surveyed stating they would change networks if their smartphone fell victim to a security issue. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of 428 men surveyed would also change networks following a security incident.

This stark finding contradicts current mobile network provider activity and investment priorities, with most aggressively focusing on building ever faster high-speed network infrastructure and attractive data plans, but less on shoring up their security infrastructure and offering value-added security services and protection to end users and their devices.

“Smartphone users, like most people, don’t think about the security of their devices until they’ve been hacked. This may be misleading mobile network operators to focus less of their attention on customer security and underestimate the risk it creates,” said Peter Doggart, senior director of global marketing at Crossbeam. “There is an inadequate level of investment in security compared to other areas of the mobile network. This is a wake-up call for service providers, especially as we’re reaching a critical mass of smartphone users worldwide, not to mention a critical mass of data-enabled endpoints connecting to mobile phone networks including smartphones, tablets, eBook readers and more. The quantity of threats directed at mobile devices and their level of sophistication are on the rise.”

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