Mobile devices that are centered around cell phones are gaining in popularity in the corporate world as the capabilities of these gadgets has advanced. Many business users now leave the corporate laptop at home and take the smartphone with them on short trips. The ability to work quickly with email, text messages, and to review documents has pushed these small devices right into the briefcase. The New York Times has published an article that takes a look at the security implications of this growing phenomenon.
Pocket-size devices are misplaced all the time — travelers left 85,000 cellphones and 21,000 hand-held computers in Chicago taxis during a six-month period last year, according to a survey by Pointsec Mobile Technologies, a maker of security software. And as these devices become capable of storing larger volumes of data, some experts are concerned about the increasing vulnerability of those files.
Analysts say that workers are too caught up with buying the latest gadgets, forgetting that their data is far more valuable than the device it runs on.
That last statement is a very important one as far as corporate security specialists are concerned. The fear that sensitive corporate (or customer) data may fall into the hands of outsiders has some companies scrambling to put a plan in place to remotely wipe the data off lost devices. Many companies are now keeping all sensitive data on a secure server which requires employees in the field to log in for access, rather than allowing such data to be stored on the mobile device. This area is going to become a hot topic this year as companies release security solutions for businesses with large mobile work forces. Hopefully solutions will appear that don’t reduce the usefulness of these smartphones too much.