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It isn't just Microsoft that believes personal device security could use an overhaul as it seems mobile carriers feel the same way. According to AT&T, the Mobile Authentication Taskforce (MAT) – comprising AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile – is looking into new ways to increase security for smartphone users.
The MAT was initially formed to protect consumers and businesses alike from identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases and other security-related issues. It's a goal the taskforce is finally taking significant steps toward accomplishing.
The MAT will soon begin using their individual carrier networks to power a new, "highly secure and trusted" multi-factor authentication platform. The platform would improve user security by "processing unique attributes" such as a user's IP address, SIM card data, phone number tenure and more. It's not entirely clear what circumstances would prompt this system's use, though it seems likely it would be used for purchase verification at the very least.
The MAT's authentication platform will also reportedly include "interoperability" with the GSMA's 'Mobile Connect' technology.
"As mobile becomes the remote control for day-to-day life, mobile identity is key to making things simpler and more secure for consumers,"
"As mobile becomes the remote control for day-to-day life, mobile identity is key to making things simpler and more secure for consumers," GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair said in a statement. "The GSMA has been working with operators around the world to bring a consistent and interoperable, secure identity service and this taskforce will strengthen that effort by enabling a simple user experience quickly and conveniently in the US market."
Mobile Connect is a "secure universal log-in solution" that was announced at Mobile World Congress. The security solution functions by "simply matching the user to their mobile phone." How deeply the MAT's platform will integrate with the GSMA's solution remains to be seen.
This new authentication platform will arrive "over the next few weeks" by way of several internal trials. The MAT hopes to roll the solution out to consumers by the end of 2018.