Security Risk: Rogue Smart Devices

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 @ 03:11 PM gHale

Heads of companies remain concerned about the security ramifications of unauthorized mobile devices, but they just don’t know what to do about it, a new survey said.

Some 28.4 percent of survey respondents believe there are unauthorized PDAs, tablets, or a combination of both connecting to their enterprise intranets, and particularly their email servers, according to a Deloitte poll of nearly 1,200 U.S. IT and business executives about mobile security.

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Nearly 87 percent of respondents think their companies are at risk for a cyber attack originating from a mobile security lapse, the survey said.

Yet, according to the survey, 40 percent of respondents don’t know whether their organizations have strategies, policies, procedures, or technology controls in place to effectively enforce mobile security.

“Devices like tablets, PDAs, and smartphones have become ubiquitous over the past few years as people increasingly purchase them as tools to enhance their productivity at work and at home,” said JR Regan, principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP and innovation leader to Deloitte’s federal practice. “Despite the benefit of these new devices, they also present increased security threats for organizations, which now must be wary of security threats originating from new channels.”

“The [study results are] disconcerting,” said Tom Kellermann, CTO at mobile security vendor AirPatrol. “The overt lack of strategic thinking about the consumerization of IT represents the Achilles heel for corporate security.”

Corporations should maintain policies that pre-designate mobile device rights and privileges for all job positions and electronically monitor non-employees’ physical and wireless activities when accessing secure areas, he said.

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