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Mobile Computing: Securing your workforce

The following introduction was published as the foreword to the BCS eBook on Mobile Computing: Securing your workforce:

“It’s been less than 3 decades since the first commercial handheld cellular phone hit the market. Costing some $3,995, and likened to a brick, it immediately gained a long waiting list. Price and size has come down in the intervening years, and popularity has soared. The technology has moved from analogue to digital and the handsets can now do so much more than make and receive voice telephone calls.

We’ve seen the introduction of short message service (SMS), multi-media message service (MMS), PDA functions (address book, calendar, notes), email, browsing (WAP through to modern browsers), full Internet access and applications. Each new capability has opened up additional potential exposures for users.

Modern smartphones combine elements of mobile phone, personal digital assistants (PDA) and laptop into a small, easily lost or stolen, high value device. With e-wallets, NFC, tablets, etc. as well as storing more and more confidential information as storage capacity grows, its value – and impact when lost – increases even more.

Phones are not the only devices we’re mobile with either. PDAs, laptops, tablets all add to the complexity, as does the growth in employees using their own devices and bringing them into the enterprise. Organisations need to cope, educate and secure.

Although manufacturers, operators, OS/Application vendors and businesses try and control and/or secure their platforms, there are limits to what is technically possible and acceptable to users. Many people are no longer content with a device that cannot perform the functions or run the applications they see other do. Indeed, some will take exception to any level of control/security and ‘jailbreak’ or ‘unlock’ their devices so that they can run what they want on whatever network is available.

Whatever portable device you use, this eBook contains some useful advice to consider – to help improve your mobile security.”

The eBook is available online for preview and order via:

http://www.bcs.org/category/16307