With Business Embracing Mobile, Security Concerns Multiply

John Storts
Slide Show

Smartphone Security: Alarming Complacency Among Mobile Users

Most consumers are unaware of the security risks associated with their smartphones.

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices are becoming our go-to devices when it comes to getting things done, especially outside of the traditional office setting. They're just too convenient, and the increasing power packed into these gadgets means that some of them are worthy (or nearly worthy) of supplanting the laptops and desktops they once supplemented.


However, the smaller form factor of these devices, the "nomadic" nature in which they are used and the proliferation of different strategies (or inadequate ones) for securing these devices means that they create their own kinds of risks to your business data.


Malware that collects and reports sensitive information is, of course, a major concern, but losing the phone or other device is a bigger security risk, according to Independent Security Evaluators analyst Charlie Miller in a recent article in Consumer Reports. While protecting that data may be a simple matter of assigning a PIN or password, Consumer Reports' security survey indicated that only around 20 percent of users use password protection when it comes to their mobile phones. While I'd like to see numbers that only reflect business users' habits, I'm willing to venture that I'd still be shocked by how few use passwords and, if they do, whether they employ good password management tactics.


If you want to embrace the reality of mobile within your organization, but also want to encourage good security practices specific to the threats posed by mobility, create and enforce strong security policies. Check out these sample policies, templates and book excerpts to speed the process of developing your security policies:


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