BARCELONA, Spain — Security must be baked into every network and mobile device, said McAfee CEO Christopher Young at a Mobile World Congress keynote today.
“Security cannot be an aftermarket or afterthought in the world of connected devices,” he said. When the company got its start, it saw about 10 unique threats per day, Young added. Now it’s 600,000 threats per day across “hundreds of millions of devices,” 300,000 of which are mobile, he said.
Also at Mobile World Congress McAfee released its latest Mobile Threat Report, which found an explosion in the number of mobile malware threats. The security company detected more than 16 million infestations in the third quarter of 2017 alone, which is nearly double the number from last year.
It expects things to get worse in 2018. The report predicts it will be a year of more sophisticated attacks with an estimated 5 billion mobile users worldwide providing a massive attack vector for malware authors.
This new report follows a study that McAfee, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, published last week. That report found that cybercrime costs businesses close to $600 billion per year, or 0.8 percent of global GDP. This is up from a 2014 study that put global losses at about $445 billion.
‘Stop the Line’
During his keynote, Young said cybersecurity needs its own “stop the line” movement, referencing the General Motors-Toyota partnership at a Fremont, California, car manufacturing plant in the 1980s.
“GM and its manufacturing had emphasized quantity over quality,” he said. “Toyota employees were encouraged to stop the line if a quality issue should ever arise. Stop the line made quality everyone’s job. But it expanded beyond Toyota. It inspired the total quality management movement.
Companies need to “make cybersecurity the new quality,” Young added. “Make it just like the quality movement in the 1980s. We need a J.D. Power equivalent for cybersecurity.”
To this end, McAfee this week announced partnerships with several carriers to build security into their products.
Teaming Up with Telecoms
McAfee’s platform will be embedded into Telefónica routers for consumers and small businesses, starting in June. The companies say this partnership marks the first time a telecommunications company has embedding security at every point where customers connect.
Another partnership will see some Samsung smartphones, smart TVs, PCs, and notebooks come pre-installed with Samsung anti-malware software.
McAfee also teamed up with Turkish carrier Türk Telekom to launch a program that allows the telecom’s mobile and broadband customers to choose from a variety of security packages that cover their devices, starting in March.
And finally, McAfee and NTT DoCoMo extended their partnership, with the Japan-based carrier adding McAfee’s WiFi security function to its Anshin Security app.
Photo: McAfee CEO Christopher Young during his keynote at Mobile World Congress 2018.