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A Portable Security Risk

More and more employees are bringing personal mobile devices, such as media players, flash drives and smart phones, to work for entertainment, communications and other purposes. Equally, many employers issue their staff with such devices to allow them to be more mobile and to run business applications as part of their job.

This explosion of personal devices with built in web connectivity, office applications and email can improve working practices but also comes with risks not limited to time wasting. The portability, connectivity, and storage capacity of mobile devices means they bring with them the threat of data leakage, data theft, and the introduction of viruses or other malware into workplace computing systems.

Computer scientists Sean Garrity and George Weir of the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, writing in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics, outline some of the problems associated with the enormous growth in mobile technology and explain how those concerns might be addressed. Portable storage devices of every ilk whether mp3 player or mobile phone now have several ways of connecting to other devices and networks including wi-fi, Bluetooth, and USB. Many of these devices also now have several gigabytes of storage capacity and are often expandable and so have the ability to capture vast quantities of data, whether for legitimate work purposes or for illicit use. Continue reading.

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