ON THE GO
An explosion in smartphones, laptops,
USB sticks and other portable devices has
brought new security challenges, reports
he rise of the smartphone has Much of this popularity has been
done more than bring convenience driven by Apple’s iPhone and other
to the hundreds of millions of touchscreen smartphones, says Mikko
consumers who use them. It has forced Hyppönen, chief research ofﬁcer at
a realignment in the way IT adminis- Helsinki-based computer security
trators go about protecting enterprise software company F-Secure. The iPhone
networks. Where once their command- already has more than a 10 percent share
ments about user policies were unques- of the smartphone market.
tioned and strictly adhered to, the As well, in just a few months,
so-called consumerization of the mobile Android [Google’s mobile OS] has
device has, in many cases, obliterated gained traction, joining the iPhone as a
their power to dictate the rules. highly demanded alternative to Black-
Employees have been bringing Berry devices, says John Herrema, chief
technology into the enterprise for quite marketing ofﬁcer at Good Technology.
a while now, says John Dasher, senior “We’re seeing Android as potentially
director of data protection at McAfee. the biggest mobility platform over the
“The day is long gone where employees course of the next year,” he says.
use ofﬁce-speciﬁed tools,” he says. The And, it is not just road warriors and
time has come where executives can enterprise users who have made smart-
tell the IT department that they want to phones so prevalent. Students and
use their personal computers and other consumers on the go continually use their
mobile devices. Employees have more devices to stay connected via text and
inﬂuence about these matters and their social networks, such as Facebook, and
power to circumvent what had been set their need for secure transmission of data
rules will become more common, he says. is a rising concern as well.
32 SC • February 2010 • www.scmagazineus.com
The downside to all this growth in The reason for this disparity, he
the mobile space is that the popularity
SMART USER: explains, is that third-party apps for
is inevitably attracting the attention of Protect data smartphones must be certiﬁed and
malware writers. And, says Herrema, To ensure secure use of the iPhone: approved before they’re made available
initial Android devices have not had a lot on iTunes or other distribution networks.
built into them as far as security. (For its 1. Education – Users need to know the “Compare that model to what’s being
part, a spokesperson at Google responds, risks of the web or vectors of data loss on done on the PC side where there are no
“We pragmatically designed Android to the device as there are insufﬁcient policy restrictions and no code-signing,” he says.
help protect consumers from modern controls to technically enforce acceptable In fact, there have only been about
security threats, and we’