This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

As consumerisation is predicted to be a key challenge for IT managers this year, could the smartphone be to blame?

Share this article:

In what is set to be a consistent theme for 2011, the future of smartphone security, along with challenges regarding ownership and responsibility, have been debated by industry spokespeople.

Smartphone use and security was debated by a panel at the Infosecurity Europe exhibition's press conference in London.

Chairing the debate, Nigel Stanley, practice leader at Bloor Research, called the smartphone ‘the only piece of IT that we take to bed with us' and said that as the demand for them increases, they are more of a target for attackers and he had seen a huge exploit interest increase within the hacker community over the past year.

John Colley, managing director of (ISC)2 EMEA, said: “One of the things from my background is that they are attractive and people want to use them. As security people we see problems and do not allow them into the corporation and the problem is that the people who want to use them are at board level and as a security professional it is hard to say that they cannot use it. They will say to the IT team to fix the problem and let me use it.”

Colley also said that it is a question of ownership, depending on whether the device is issued by a company or if employees are allowed to use their own devices. “If you use your own PC for work most IT managers would forbid that and ownership is clear there. With the iPhone I have photos and music on it that I would not want a corporation to have, so you have conflict and if you do not let me have it there is a solution, but not everybody likes a BlackBerry,” he said.

Vladimir Jirasek, IT services domain lead at the Common Assurance Maturity Model, said that it came down to the awareness of the user and the importance of protecting data. He said that a corporate policy should say what data can be accessed by smartphones and if it is done correctly, then technology can be introduced to some means.

He said: “It shows that awareness is important but you cannot tell if data is malicious, so the question to ask is if the responsibility is on the part of the manufacturer to make sure that the user is informed on its capabilities to say what it is sending out. We agree that it is a computer and organisations should know what is connected and what is stored, technologically that is very difficult.”

Looking to the future, Stanley said that he expected that malware for smartphones will 'grow explosively as it gets attacked'. He referred to a BBC experiment he participated in where 200 lines of code were required to create a mobile app that collected personal details and numbers.

Colley said: “I remember when we were waiting for the number of viruses for computers to break the 1,000 barrier and I suspect we are in the early stages of malware developments and there is skill required.

“There will be a change in time and people will get toolkits and it will be easier to write malware. The other trend is the capacity of the smartphone will not get smaller, it is now 64GB and that will increase and be driven by audio visual media and entertainment.”

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner 'easily hacked'

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner 'easily hacked'

Single step authentication on Galaxy leaves PayPal accounts open to abuse say German researchers.

MSWin 8.1 users must update or lose security patches

MSWin 8.1 users must update or lose security ...

Organisations run the risk of being left defenceless against attackers unless they upgrade from MS Win 8.1

Communication gap indentified between IT and management

Communication gap indentified between IT and management

Bad news is filtered out of communicaiton to the C-suite and 63 percent of IT staff only start talking after a breach has taken place.