ORGANISATIONS MUST TAKE SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF MOBILE DEVICES MORE SERIOUSLY

In the rush to provide mobile workforces with the latest Smart technology, businesses are leaving themselves open to the greatest security threat

03 April, 2006 - With a deluge of new ‘smartphones’ on the market businesses are keen to invest in new technology in order to create a truly mobile workforce, but unless a sound security infrastructure is in place, your remote workers could be the unwitting bearers of major security threats, says IT consultants, Frontier Technology.

2006 will see changes to the Blackberry, making connectivity five times faster and many smartphone manufacturers are quickly adopting the Windows Mobile 5 platform to take advantage of the new features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. These new smart devices will leave employees with almost no excuse for being unreachable, allowing them to check emails, receive calls and carry on working wherever they might be in the world. But once the travelling employee returns to the office, how can you be sure that the corporate network isn’t susceptible to malicious attacks when he or she connects their smartphone to the network?

“It’s a really exciting year for smart technology,” explains Frontier’s director and co-founder, Rafael Khokhar. “There are a lot of new developments on the horizon which will make a big impact on the business world, but not enough organisations are seriously considering the security implications of these devices. Hackers and virus writers regard handheld devices as prime targets because of their multiple functionality and wireless Internet connectivity. A smartphone can leave a company open to Trojan Horse attacks, traditional viruses, messaging worms, blended threats and denial-of-service attacks.

“However, there are steps a company can take to secure their handheld devices and their network, from these kinds of security threat. A rounded approach should be taken to protect the mobile device itself, the existing infrastructure and wireless connectivity,” continued Rafael Khokhar. “Once the desired level of security is in place, it is imperative that all staff are fully briefed and aware of the data and applications their smartphone should and shouldn’t be used for.”

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