Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lost,stolen devices biggest risk

We saw from the Dimension Data Sun City SIG that mobility was voted as posing a significant challenge to IT security, with endpoint security being a priority to address these challenges. Contrary to popular belief, the primary security threat posed today by the surge in corporate use of mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones and PDA's is not malware, industry pros said at the Mobile Business Expo in Chicago today, but missing mobile phones and lost/stolen PDAs and laptops.

For example, during one six-month period last year, in Chicago alone, business workers lost more than 85,000 mobile devices as they stepped out of cabs. Given that about 85 percent of a company's intellectual property can be discerned through its e-mail, we can see that the loss or theft of any type of mobile device is a huge threat to organisations.

Most of the mobile device security hype has centred around viruses and worms and whilst this may indeed be the largest threat for laptops, the big issue with phones and PDA's is the email stores and other data sitting on them that can be exposed, given their higher propensity to go "missing in action". There are some 162 million mobile subscribers in the U.S. today, but only about 40 percent of organizations have a security policy for mobile applications. That's not to say that laptops are without their problems - we saw from the Privacy Rights clearing house stats that stolen laptops resulted in the 2nd largest loss of identities in the US.

RELATED TOPICS: See also Securing mobile phones, Endpoint encryption goes mainstream?, Mobile email devices a security risk and Lost PDA's pose security risk

CATEGORIES: 1mobile security, 1mobility, 1data theft, 1stats, 1best practices, 1email
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