Gartner Research

When SMS Text Messaging Is Secure Enough (and What to Do When It Isn't)

Published: 24 September 2012

ID: G00234643

Analyst(s): Dionisio Zumerle

Summary

Used in a multitude of business applications, Short Message Service has been increasingly used as an attack vector. We assess its level of security when used on current mobile devices, such as iPhones and Android smartphones, and recommend how and where to opt for other alternatives.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts

Analysis

Impacts and Recommendations

  • Spreading fraudulent attacks using out-of-band authentication (carried in SMS) for transactions will increasingly lead to monetary and reputational damage for financial and other types of organizations, and create customer distrust
  • Organizations that focus on corporate mobile device security rather than on carrier networks will increase their odds of successfully preventing unlawful interception of SMS traffic
  • Although SMS delivery is not guaranteed, it remains pervasive in many enterprise use cases

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