Jeanine Sterling, an analyst for InfoTech: The Telecom Intelligence Group, paints a troubling -- but also somewhat hopeful -- picture of wireless security in her recent report, "Securing the Wireless Workplace: Partnering with the Enterprise." The study is discussed in this release, which appeared on eMedia Wire.
Enterprises begin a line of questioning with the opinion that their wireless security is ship-shape. They end up acknowledging that they are on the Andrea Doria (we hate cliches, so we didn't mention the Titanic) and show a willingness to get outside help.
We've mentioned the dangers of denial before, so we aren't going to bother beating that horse any longer. Suffice it to say that companies often do a poor job of securing their wireless networks, and that there are many hidden dangers for corporate travelers. The good news is that enterprises are slowly wising up and showing a willingness to partner with outsiders to improve their mobile security. This, of course, is a very good thing.
The bulk of the release discusses what types of security-related firms companies want to partner with. It also looks at the criteria used to select those partners. Company size has a big impact on the answers to both sets of questions.
It's a cliche to say accepting the existence of a problem is the first step toward recovery. Cliches survive, however, because they contain a grain of truth. That's certainly the case in wireless security. We may be naive, but we find it hard to understand how any under-protected company can think much about wireless and mobile security without doing something about it, pronto.
The fact is, however, that we discuss security of all sorts -- mobile, wireless, cellular, wired, etc. -- virtually every day, so we may be more attuned to how dire the situation is and what the costs are for those who ignore it. On the other hand, you don't have to try very hard to find examples of the cost of poor wireless security technology or practices.
We hope that the trend identified in Sterling's report -- enterprises acknowledging that they have mobile security issues -- accelerates. Indeed, all signs point to a significant increase in the attention being paid by hackers, crackers and other malcontents to wireless and cellular sectors.
For this reason, we are glad that enterprises are getting religion.