Feature

Diverse mobile devices changing security paradigm

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STRIKING A BALANCE
Diana Kelley, founder and partner at consultancy SecurityCurve, believes many companies end up trading robust data protection for "anytime, anywhere" access. "The cost of doing business is always pretty high--think of acceptable shrinkage [damage, loss or theft of inventory] in retail," she says. "In today's world, data loss is one of the costs of doing business anywhere, anytime, on almost any [mobile] device. Limiting risk means limiting access; each company has to decide where that line needs to be drawn."

However, establishing a strategy that addresses mobile device diversity appears to be critical. According to Gold, many companies don't really have a strategy--they either ignore non-standard devices or deal with them ad hoc.

"The first step is building a [more comprehensive] strategy," says Gold. "Talk to users about what they want, what they need, and tell them what you can do for them. When there are enough people using a given exception, then you can test it and secure it and bring it onto the corporate standard list. It's an evolutionary process."


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Revealing Poll
A survey of 200 consumers released earlier this year by endpoint security supplier GuardianEdge Technologies illustrates some of the issues IT security teams face with the proliferation of mobile devices:

89% Number of respondents who said they are able to access email and other corporate information using their personal or corporate-issued smartphone.

52% Number of respondents who believe companies should allow employees to store and access company data on personal smartphones if corporate-issued devices aren't provided.

82% Number of respondents who said they were open to their company deploying security technology on either their personal or company-supplied smartphone.

This was first published in November 2008

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