News - 03.06.2015

Lookout targets ‘bring your own’ smartphone hacking risks

Lookout, a cyber security start-up, is offering large companies a software platform to tackle the threat from hackers to smartphones.

The San Francisco-based company — which raised $150m last year and counts Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos among its backers — has trialled its system with 20 organisations, as concerns grow about the possibility of confidential data being stolen from employees’ mobile devices.

Aaron Cockerill, vice-president of products at Lookout, said clients had previously focused on PCs and laptops. With hackers stealing $1 off a phone’s SMS bill, companies had dismissed the mobile threat as small, he said.

However, cyber criminals had started to target phones because employees sometimes “carry around next year’s financial plan in their pocket”, Mr Cockerill added. “Large companies are facing targeted, novel, unique attacks that either exfiltrate data or penetrate corporate networks.”

Lookout’s expansion comes after a widely followed report from Verizon found that just 100 mobile devices faced serious security breaches each day, contesting warnings about the vulnerability of smartphones.