Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

By Jonathan Spira on 1 September 2008
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Is your smartphone secured or was a password too much of a bother? iphone with lock Think about what’s stored in your phone, including contact lists, e-mail messages, documents, proposals, spreadsheets, and presentations – many of which could be confidential.

Smartphones are much easier to lose track of than a laptop; they are also much more likely to be damaged or stolen.  Many don’t have remote wipe capabilities, a security feature popularized by Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices, allowing the IT department to remotely delete all data from a lost or stolen device.

Before going out the door, make sure that you password protect your device (and please don’t select 123123 as your password).  It may be a bit inconvenient at times but it’s far better than the alternative.  If you are using a memory card, make sure it’s encrypted too.

If you are a CIO, you might want to standardize on a device type or platform (i.e. Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Symbian) and limit what information can be moved onto a mobile device from the corporate network.  If employees provide their own smartphones, require that security software be installed on the device or consider a move to employer-provided devices that are under your direct control.

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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