Lax security exposed by lack of PDA policy

Lots of portability, very little responsibility...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor on

Lots of portability, very little responsibility...

Despite heavy investment in IT security over the past few years and a recent spate of high-profile virus outbreaks, companies are still leaving glaring holes in their security strategies - most notably with the use of mobile devices. A silicon.com survey has revealed that a staggering 68 per cent of companies have no policy in place controlling employees' use of PDAs. In an instant all the costly work done 'securing the perimeter' from outside infections is undermined by the fact that a member of staff can just walk straight into the office and plug their PDA straight into the network, irrespective of what it may contain, or what they may intend to upload or download. Such a situation poses an obvious security threat. Employees uploading data from their PDA to the network may also be uploading any malware which they have picked up. But there is also the very real threat posed to your business by the increased portability of your data. Volker Wiora, VP of global information systems at management software maker Altiris, said: "There is a real risk here but the greatest risk is that people are free to take data away. Files, spreadsheets and mission critical data can just be downloaded onto a PDA and taken out of the building." However, Wiora believes companies will continue to overlook these threats until there is a high-profile victim or two. "I think it will take a few cases before people sit up and take notice," he said. Companies who don't want it to be them are advised to tighten their security policies relating to the use of all mobile devices. silicon.com is launching a a new-improved PDA service which means you no longer have to be in front of your PC to find out what is happening in your industry. With silicon.com on the go you will be up-to-date before you even step foot in the office.
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