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Mobile Device Security in the Small Business Environment: Part 1

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 2/4/2011

The ability to "go mobile" is almost a necessity in today's business environment. Whether you have a simple work cell phone or a Blackberry and laptop, the convenience of having a mobile device for work purposes cannot be overstated. Consequently, securing those devices should not be overlooked.

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    Mobile Device Security

    In today's fast paced world it's important for businesses to be mobile or at least have mobile capabilities. Let's face it, the less confined you are to physical boundaries, the more productive you can potentially be. Mobile devices like laptops, PDAs, and smart phones (think Windows Mobile or iPhone) are the technologies most frequently used as business tools. However, these business tools can also be the Achilles heel for your business security if the proper precautions are not taken.

    In this three-part series, I'll cover potential security threats to your mobile devices as well as good security practices to counteract these threats. In many ways a mobile device is more prone to security issues than one of your networked (read that "wired") devices. Does this mean you should just stop using mobile devices for business proposes? Absolutely not! What it DOES mean is that the use of these tools should be closely monitored and supported. A great deal of vigilance, a lot of common sense, and a little bit of cool technology can go a long way in preventing the security breach of a mobile device.

    The important thing to keep in mind is that security threats to mobile devices are really no different than threats to wired devices. PDAs and wireless-enabled laptops can receive malicious emails and malware just as easily as a wired device. However, the term "mobile" implies that you can take this device wherever you go. And nine times out of ten this means into an environment that, unlike your business environment, is unsecured. Make no mistake, email attachments bearing malware and viruses are not the only security threat to a mobile device. Let's be realistic. Malware and viruses are created by flesh and blood people that wish to exploit whatever sensitive data they can get their hands on; maybe for personal gain or maybe just for the fun of it. How much easier would it be for such a person to simply swipe your Blackberry off a table as you went to the counter, just for a second, to pick up your $4 coffee?

    So what can you do to protect your mobile devices? Check out Part 2: Battling Mobile Device Security Threats where I cover some common sense methods to keeping your mobile devices safe and secure.

Mobile Device Security

The ability to "go mobile" is almost a necessity in today's business environment. Whether you have a simple work cell phone or a Blackberry and laptop, the convenience of having a mobile device for work purposes cannot be overstated. Consequently, securing those devices should not be overlooked.
  1. Mobile Device Security in the Small Business Environment: Part 1
  2. Mobile Device Security in the Small Business Environment: Part 2
  3. Mobile Device Security in the Small Business Environment: Part 3