Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mobile email-devices a security risk

Large organisations are leaving their networks vulnerable to attack by failing to police unofficial use of mobile e-mail devices by their staff, Gartner warns this week.

Staff are often tempted to link their personal mobile devices to the work e-mail system, particularly when they see senior staff with Blackberries or similar devices. But this can create serious security holes in networks, which can allow hackers, viruses and other malware into corporate systems.

Gartner estimates that the number of mobile e-mail devices in use will grow from eight million to more than 80 million worldwide in the next three years, making wireless security a top priority for IT departments. Businesses should buy scalable mobile e-mail systems and consider offering them to a wider range of employees, rather than restricting them to a few senior executives, she said. Gartner advised IT departments to make sure that data stored on wireless devices is encrypted, and to invest in systems that can remotely block access or wipe data if devices are lost or stolen.
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