Recently, we published a post with a Brief look at Data Protection for Mobile Devices. We discussed a few ways that mobile security can be established. In this post, we will look at why businesses should even bother with mobile security. Why bother at all?
The face of computing has changed considerably in the recent years. Desktops gave way to laptops which in turn gave way to palm sized devices which are just as capable of computing as the desktops were – palm tops, smart phones, tablets are just a few of the gadgets that the corporate executives are taking to in a big way all over the world.
What happens when executives use their personal mobile devices to access corporate data? If the data is not encrypted, what can possibly happen?
Mobile security is a serious issue and many geographic regions have developed legislation such as the UK, U.S and Europe. Smart phones and tablets today work just like computers do — while on the move. The lingering worry, however, is pertinent.
According to a Techtarget’s Annual reader survey, stolen devices were a great concern for over 65% of the users and the company’s these executives work with. About 54% of the executives also worry about unprotected personal devices trying to gain access to the corporate resources. Managing data, compliance and legal requirements are some other concerns according to the survey.
How can you secure these mobile devices? What’s the solution?
Encryption is a good way to get started
While it can be difficult to stop hackers or eavesdroppers from hacking into your mobile phone and tapping into the data, encryption can at least strip the data of its value and present gibberish to those who breach. Earlier, encryption was used for secured voice calls. Today, however, all sorts of data to and from the mobile devices need to be nudged into the ever-expanding scope of encryption. Further, it’s nearly a legal mandate thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Mobile phones are easily misplaced, stolen or lost – all the data goes along with it. In a 2008 Credant Technologies Global Survey, roughly 66,000 mobile phones and 6000 Smartphone/tablets/PDA were lost. Laptops are no exception where about 5% of laptops are stolen within 12 months of purchase according to the same survey.
Most of the mobile devices barely have any security features enabled on them. Most of the devices come without any sort of firewall protection or any possibility of encryption data transfer to and from these devices.
Explicit company permission to store or use data off the mobile devices, strong encryption features on mobile devices, anti-theft or anti-loss features built into the mobile devices, regular back-up of data on secure company networks, a properly enforced security policy covering mobile device security could be a good start towards a robust data protection program covering all mobile devices, including laptops.
With time, usage of mobile phones and many other smart mobile computing devices will be a usual norm. As such, mobile data management would grow up to be an important concern.
How do you work with your mobile devices?