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Security vendors cash in on mobile threats

250m phones to get security software by 2011

Increased attacks on mobile phones will mean big money for security vendors as well as hackers, according to a study from Juniper Research.

Several vendors have already launched mobile phone security products, and Juniper found a number of factors are encouraging individuals and companies to buy into these systems, among them: identity theft, the threat of malware, corporate governance rules, new legislation and the growing dependence of users on the data in their handsets. Mobile phone theft is continuing to rise, and nearly 4 percent of phones will be stolen every year by 2011, Juniper said.

Those factors will ensure that mobile security software is installed on 247 million devices over the next five years, nearly 8 percent of the total, according to Alan Goode, who wrote the study, Mobile Data Security: Access, Content, Identity & Threat Management, 2006-2011.

That will boost revenues from products such as anti-virus, VPN, data and file encryption and mobile identity management applications to nearly $5bn by 2011, Goode said. The biggest area will be secure mobile content - antivirus, antispam, antispyware and content filtering - accounting for 40 percent of the market.

Revenues from data and file encryption products will outstrip those in the PC market in five years' time, Goode said. Juniper expects mobile biometrics to account for $268m of the mobile identity and access management market's revenues, which will total $1.36bn.

Goode said the security market will be "initially driven by the data-hungry mobile business user who has seen the benefits of data services such as email, predominantly on their BlackBerry devices".

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