Be Smart with Smartphone Security Policies and Practice

With all the fuss this week about the release of Google's new smartphone, this is a good time to remember that smartphones operate more like a computer than a phone and they need the same care as the desktop in your office.


What makes smartphones work so well as a portable office is the capability to browse the Internet. That capability also means your employees are at risk for viruses and other security breaches, so IT staff need to be just as vigilant with company-issued phones accessing the network as they are with computers.


This can be done with specific policies on smartphone use, such as the one Abilene Christian University uses.

 

To help come up with solid guidelines, consider the Guidelines for Cell Phone and PDA Security from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Since many people like to take advantage of free Wi-Fi or use a Bluetooth device with their smartphones, companies may want to consider guidelines regarding their use. For example, a CNN article on smartphone security offers this piece of advice on Bluetooth:


"Pairing a mobile phone with another Bluetooth-enabled device, like a headset, means any device that can "discover" another Bluetooth device can send unsolicited messages or do things that could lead to extra fees, data being compromised or corrupted, data stolen in an attack called bluesnarfing,' or the device being infected with a virus. In general, disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth unless you absolutely need to use them."


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