Diverse mobile devices changing security paradigm


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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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