Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Security and the Cell Phone Gadget

The New York Times has an article concerning security and wireless/Wi-Fi gadgets. More and more workers are purchasing their own personal gadgets (that can include cell phone/email/contact list/calendar/to-do list/documents). Although the expense is usually on the employee's side, it can cause security issues. The article mentions that many of these gadgets are left or misplaced. For example, 85,000 cell phones and 21,000 hand-held computers were left in Chicago taxis in a single month. This can cause security issues with the data on the gadgets. One company, Seitlin, has started purchasing these gadgets for their employees, but has also put in place security:
  • They purchased the same gadget for everyone.
  • The company decided what information could be stored on the gadget.
  • They can be remotely monitored and locked.
  • Private information is not loaded onto the gadget, but available via a company web site.
  • Information on the gadgets can be wiped remotely (if lost).
  • Data is stored on a removable memory card; if removed, it is wiped.
  • Email messages are automatically sent, not manually downloaded.
  • Rebuilding software onto a new Treo can be done remotely within a few minutes.
  • Logs are created for all transactions.
By purchasing the gadgets, the company can create policies concerning their use -- which can minimize security issues. [from New York Times]

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