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Bringing cyber security to the masses, by mobile phone

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A couple of weeks ago one of Israel’s leading operators, Pelephone announced a new consumer service. The service, which offers anti-spam, anti-phishing and parental controls, is based on Allot’s web security offering and is fully network based. It has no battery impact, and is fully managed by the cellular operator and the security partner. What’s interesting about this offering is that Pelephone chose to highlight cyber security and speed as the two main values it brings to its customers.

Not since the days when SIM based GSM phones were launched to counter the easily-cloneable AMP analog phones (in the ‘80s) have I seen a customer-facing security offering presented as key benefits by a mobile operator. And as a cyber professional, it’s interesting to see how cybersecurity is being brought to the masses.

In the past cyber security offerings (anti-SPAM, anti-phishing etc.) were typically added as extras on top of the monthly access fee, however, Pelephone announced it will roll this service out to ALL its postpaid customers, free of charge. The service, while free on the cellular network does charge if the customer chooses extra protection when surfing over WiFi. It will be interesting to see attach rate for this service.

This cyber security offering is an example of the digital services that mobile network operators are furiously deploying in order to remain relevant and competitive in the world of app stores. But if they are going to keep up with the product deployment rate that’s being thrust upon them they will need SDN and NFV capabilities. This means that automation of security connectivity will need to go hand in hand with these deployments in order to provide a seamless end-to-end provisioning.

Hats off to Allot and Pelephone for this service offering.

Stay tuned….

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