Mobile phone security is now a serious issue for both UK Government and
mobile operators alike. But as more and more people use mobile devices for
work while on the move, employers should also be looking at the potential
risk to their business, according to Deloitte Consulting.
A survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting shows that an overwhelming
majority of organisations seem to be turning a blind eye to the security
risk posed by their employees' mobile devices. 74% of business users
questioned in the survey said that their employer had not provided them with
security procedures to follow should they lose their mobile device.
"As mobile devices such as mobile PDAs become more sophisticated, the level
of information they hold on a business and its customers increases," says
Paul Lee, director of mobile and wireless research at Deloitte Consulting.
The threat posed to corporate security if a device is lost is therefore very
real. Hackers have the opportunity to break codes and invade corporate data
systems with potentially significant financial ramifications.
"By not providing their employees with adequate security procedures
companies are putting themselves at risk and are not providing adequate
protection to their customers," says Mr Lee. "A hack on corporate
information could expose confidential customer information, allow access to
financial systems and information, as well as cause long term damage to an
organisation's brand and credibility resulting in loss of customers. The
wider financial implications are also far reaching and include increased
insurance premiums to adjust for known incidents and unplanned marketing
expenses to combat negative public perception."
It is inevitable that employees will lose their mobile devices. However,
organisations can put plans in place to avert the serious implications that
such a security breach could have for their organisation. These plans
* Developing a corporate policy specifying which mobile devices
employees are allowed to use for work purposes. Such a policy will ensure
that the devices used have been developed using the appropriate trade-offs
between product functionality and data security.
* Developing wireless applications based on a strategy that
appropriately balances security with end user needs.
* Ensuring a written security policy associated with any corporate
wireless application is understood and accepted by all end-users.
* Maintaining daily security checks and monitoring for hitherto
unforeseen security breaches.
* Creating explicit incident response procedures that define the steps
to be taken for different incident types and severity levels.
A report just out from Deloitte Consulting outlines how security incidents
can be avoided when companies assess security needs, plan end-to-end
protection, and then ensure that wireless applications remain secure during
daily use and maintenance.
For a copy of Deloitte Consulting's new report Transforming Shields into
Swords, How your Mobile Data Security Strategy Can Become a Competitive
Advantage, please contact Emma Thorne or Jean Maxwell, Citigate Technology,
tel: 0207 282 8000, email: Emma.Thorne@citigatetechnology.com or
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About Deloitte Consulting
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Note to editors:
For further information please contact Emma Thorne or Jean Maxwell at
Citigate Technology on 0207 282 8000, fax 0207 282 8066, e-mail:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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