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2012 Olympics raise mobile security concerns

Mobile device management (MDM) may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the 2012 London Olympics, but the athletic events do highlight the importance of mobile device security.

johnNielsenNEW2

2012 Olympics raise mobile security concerns

byod, backup, policies


Mobile device management (MDM) may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the 2012 London Olympics, but the athletic events do highlight the importance of mobile device security. No companies, after all, are going for the gold in the highest number of data breaches.

Olympic mobile device security concerns
Digital certificate management company Venafi estimated that 67,000 mobile phones are likely to be lost or stolen during the 2012 Olympics, along with as much as 214.4 terabytes of data.

"People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have Internet access to," said Gregory Webb, Venafi Vice President of Marketing. "With the ever-shrinking boundaries between work devices and work-enabled personal devices, lost or stolen smartphones and other mobile devices that fall into the wrong hands place companies and business data at tremendous risk."

The risks to organizations have increased with the growing popularity and capabilities of smartphones. Venafi said most smartphones can store at least eight gigabytes of information. The rise of enterprise mobility trends such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) make it more likely that compromised devices will store some sensitive business information.

Mobile device security practices to protect data
As a recent TechTarget article pointed out, businesses need to be able to match MDM policies with goals they are trying to accomplish. One of the big things businesses need to establish is how they will protect against the risks associated with lost and stolen devices. MDM solutions can be used to enforce strong passwords on mobile devices as well as encryption policies. However, organizations need to decide what action will be taken if a device is lost or stolen. Will devices be remotely wiped? If so, will the employee's personal data be lost?

"Before you allow any information onto mobile devices, organizations have to set policy, figure out what business goals they are trying to accomplish, the costs involved, risks involved and more," said Craig Mathias, mobile analyst with the Ashland, who was quoted in the article.

Once mobile management decisions have been made, companies should develop clearly defined policies, so employees will understand their responsibility and the company's responsibility. Businesses can further protect their data by choosing solutions that offer backup services, so critical data will always be available, even when mobile devices must be wiped.

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