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Securing the corporate environment

The hidden dangers

Securing the corporate environmentSmartphones and mobile devices of all varieties are spreading across all businesses – it’s hard to resist both the affordability and the flexibility…but what are the security concerns that need to be addressed?

According to Gartner, smartphone sales to end users accounted for 19% of worldwide mobile device sales in the second quarter of 2010 and totalled 61.6 million units, a staggering 50.5% year-on-year increase. And not only are the numbers of smartphones growing, their versatility is increasing.

However, the widescale adoption raises some key security issues which many organisations may not have fully thought through or, if they have, they may not have taken appropriate measures to ensure network safety. The biggest danger, of course, is that they go missing. Smartphones are often used for both business and personal reasons and if they are lost, both sensitive company data and personal data stored on the phone may be exposed.

If the phone is connected via a VPN, company networks are exposed to malware or could be hacked. Users must remember that they are essentially carrying around a tiny laptop with a wealth of personal information that is very attractive to the petty thief and fraudsters. Targeting smartphones could potentially be more profitable for criminals than aiming at computers.

So here are a few security top tips…

There are a number of basic security procedures which organisations and individuals can take to increase security:

  • Use the PIN or passcode function to secure the phone.
  • Install data wiping facilities so critical information can be destroyed if the device is compromised.
  • Employ time out policies.
  • Install GPS tracking so the phone can be located if stolen.
  • Install SIM watch – reporting the new number back to you if the SIM is removed and replaced.
  • Take similar data leakage protection measures as with a PC.

Smartphones are incredible tools and their use looks set to proliferate. However, their security is lagging behind their growth… Beware…

Ian Jones
NCC head of publishing & content
National Computing Centre
ian.jones@ncc.co.uk

Download the whole issue as a PDF: ITadviser, Issue 67, Autumn 2011


Industry news - Autumn 2011 - 21 Sep 2011

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Managing risk in today's smartphone world - 21 Sep 2011

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Information - lifeblood of the organisation - 21 Sep 2011

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Complying with the new e-Privacy Directive - 21 Sep 2011

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Are FDs avoiding the cloud? - 21 Sep 2011

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The developing landscape for information security management - 21 Sep 2011

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We think green, we think data! - 21 Sep 2011

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Securing the cloud enterprise - 21 Sep 2011

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At the centre - Autumn 2011 - 20 Sep 2011

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The benefits of IT monitoring and the early warning of system issues - 20 Sep 2011

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Corporate IT - the future of mobile devices - 20 Sep 2011

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SMEs supplying into the public sector - how high is the bar…? - 20 Sep 2011

public sector procurement IT procurement specialist and Probrand MD, Peter Robbins, explores the barriers restraining the public sector from doing more business with SMEs. The current process design and management results in duplicated requests for information, suppliers being engaged for an unnecessarily long time and SMEs being excluded as distinct requirements ... read more..

Engaging the workforce - the ROI of social media - 20 Sep 2011

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Viral marketing - it's catching - 20 Sep 2011

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Carbon: asset or liability? - 20 Sep 2011

sustainable IT Gradient Consulting is always looking at ways to use IT to drive business improvement and over the last year or so it has been closely following the development of carbon accounting systems as a way to address the sustainability agenda in UK businesses. Stephanie Snaith reviews the reasons ... read more..

Making remote computing safe, cheap and easy! - 20 Sep 2011

mobile securityThe growth of remote and mobile computing has been great for flexibility and productivity, but it has also developed into something of a costly nightmare when it comes to managing and securing the remote user base.The cost and administrative effort needed to manage a remote network is considerable. Theres ... read more..

Oh how the mighty have fallen! - 20 Sep 2011

tomorrows technology today And in this case I dont mean that the market cap of Apple is now significantly larger than the market cap of Microsoft and Intel combined. (Its 215.15 + 110.06 billion versus Apples 346.38 as I write this.) Rather, since smartphones and other handheld devices are where ... read more..

 

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