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Mobile carriers and tablet developers boast that this is the age of portable personal devices. With cloud computing services booming along rapidly, consumers have many new resources to add to their browsing repertoire. Along with a new era of computing comes a new way of illegitimately obtaining personal information from consumers. In 2011, the sheer amount of cyberattacks and criminal activity was vast. The majority of these attacks were made against businesses and companies over the Internet. However, experts claim that personal devices have inherent problems when it comes to keeping them secure.

“The rapid inflow of consumer-owned smartphones and tablets is causing significant security challenges for many organizations. IT departments are being asked to connect devices to corporate networks and secure data on these devices, which they have very little control over,” Gerhard Eschelbeck, CEO of Sophos, explained in a letter addressing security concerns. “Due to the high degree of mobility, security requirements are plentiful, including enforcement of use policies, corporate data encryption, access to corporate networks, productivity/content filtering, and of course malware protection. The unique nature of modern form factors (in terms of processing power, memory, battery life) requires rethinking of security and defense mechanisms.”

Eschelbeck believes that cloud computing holds the key for revolutionizing security systems and how threats are handled. He says that by using the cloud as a resource for protecting consumer data, it takes the burden away from the consumer and sets a new standard for regulating security practices. Of course, creating a privacy standard and security system for the cloud imposes a new, unique challenge that developers will have to face.

The Internet will remain the number one source for attacks; it’s been around longer and criminals have developed methods of obtaining information that continue to be successful and lucrative. It will take some time before targeted attacks on personal devices are refined and worthwhile for criminals. In that time, it’s important that the security of consumers is addressed and devices are made more secure.