Data Security and Mobile Devices

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Data Security and Mobile Devices

Mobile devices such as smartphones, PDAs, tablets, and netbooks have become an integral part of everyday business operations. Millions of people log into their company’s secure network on mobile devices via wireless Internet or even accessing their email, making sensitive data more susceptible to data theft and hacking. Mobile technology is advancing at such a fast pace, making it harder for IT managers to keep up with newly emerging threats. Since the smartphone emerged in the business scene, cybercrime has increased exponentially. Data security has now become the main focus for most IT managers in larger corporations.

What are some of the risks associated with using mobile devices in business operations?
Human error is the biggest risk associated with data security when it comes to using mobile devices. This is mostly due to loss of theft of a smartphone or other mobile device. In a study conducted in Washington DC last year, taxi drivers counted the number of mobile phones that were left behind in taxis over a six month period. Over eighty-three hundred phones were recovered. That was almost twenty-five times the number of laptops that were left in the taxis during the same period. Although all corporate laptops are password protected, few have password protection on their mobile devices. (Phifer)

“According to Credent Technologies, eighty-eight percent of mobile devices carry valuable information- from patient, customer and employee records, financial statements, and passwords,” (Phifer). Because so few people PIN-lock their phones, all of this sensitive data can easily fall in to the hands of a hacker. Mobile users often auto save their username and passwords to avoid monotonous reentry. This gives the hacker access to any information available to theft victim.

Another major risk associated with the use of mobile devices is mobile malware. Most mobile operating systems lack the anti-virus and...
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