Smartphone Data: Is It Your Next Security Nightmare?

Well the “cat’s out of the bag” that business professionals are blending their personal lives and their business lives. Sure some people still carry two phones, but most are going to have their favorite smartphone that will carry their favorite gaming apps and photos of their families and connections to their social media accounts.
What can be scary for IT consultants and should be for you are these devices used for sensitive corporate information. It’s absolutely critical that you know what data you are giving access to, on mobile devices, from your corporate network and take steps to ensure your employee’s mobile devices are protected. Any sensitive corporate data they are storing on their smartphones, must be encrypted and protected.
Frank Kenney, VP of Global Strategy at Ipswitch File Transfer said that “The mobile workforce expanded significantly in 2010, and they are showing no signs of slowing down in 2011. CIOs should start measuring the increase in worker productivity due to the increase in Smartphone usage, and create internal policies to mitigate the risks of mobile data leaks.”
“The bottom line is that employees will do whatever they need to do to remain productive, even outside of the workforce. And while mobile technology can increase productivity, IT needs to manage the sensitive data being shared. Ensuring that a company’s IP will remain secure, visible and compliant when accessed by mobile workers should be a key IT initiative in 2011.”
Information Week writes “Employees will want to use their devices, no matter who owns them, for both their work and personal lives,” said Graham Titterington, a principal analyst at Ovum, in a statement. “It is unrealistic to delineate between these uses for employees who are mobile and working out of the office for a large part of their time.”
But mobile device security controls remain a weak point, with only half of organizations authenticating their mobile device users. Among those, about two-thirds rely on usernames and passwords, while 18% use public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates, and only 9% employ two-factor authentication with one-time passwords. Furthermore, only about 25% of organizations ensure that employees’ mobile devices are running antivirus and anti-malware software.