Security is Not a Given

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 01-29-2009 Print Email
Of course, then as now, the use of these devices came with security provisions, technology and policies. For example, his staffers were never allowed to bring the BlackBerry devices on international trips and they were always limited in the types of information they could communicate over the devices.

The lesson learned, he says, is that organizations need to take a measured risk-management approach to implementing mobile devices.

Now that he's back in the private sector as CEO of Chicago-based Jet Support Services, Hagin feels so strongly about this issue that he dedicates some of his off hours to the board of directors of SMobile, a  device security company he got to know when he was surveying the mobile phone risk landscape as he was conducting his own BlackBerry balancing act.

He urges his fellow private sector executives to pay attention to the risks at hand.

 "Business and industry and government (have) got to step up to the plate and start doing a better job of protecting their proprietary information," he says. "It doesn't matter if you're a defense contractor or an investment banker or a small company that's doing specialized sensitive work, you're at risk. The focus needs to be on protecting devices so that you can use all of their functions and remain productive."

He isn't the only evangelizing awareness. According to Paul DeBeasi, senior analyst with Burton Group's network and telecommunications practice, too many organizations play fast and loose with their use of smart phones.

"Once you put sensitive information on the device, it's at risk. At a minimum, I think people should try to get their mobile phones to the same level of security, control and best practices that they use for their laptops, probably even more so because these devices are so easy to lose and they're so easy to have stolen," DeBeasi says. "Mainstream enterprises need to lock them down and take them seriously like they do with laptops, be really consistent with policies and enforce them."


 

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