Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?
Is your smartphone secured or was a password too much of a bother? 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.