Editorial: Making mobile workers secure

The biggest mobility story in Australia this year was arguably the launch of Apple’s iPhone 3G locally. This device has been labelled the “Jesus phone” and it’s not hard to see why – its combination of mobile telephony, Internet capability, ease-of-use and trendy Apple design have won over all types of users.

But rapid take-up of this device, along with the clones that will follow it, is fraught with challenges: Most notably, securing them. As users start to adopt more Internet-enabled devices like iPhones, Blackberrys and ultramobile PCs, and begin using them for work-related purposes and corporate applications, they’re also introducing a whole new batch of security challenges for administrators.

ARN’s Security Guide takes an in-depth look at the top 7 mobile security threats facing users and organisations today from the proliferation of mobile Internet devices, or MIDs. The list includes plenty of the more traditional security nasties affecting wired networks and attached clients that we’ve learnt to despise: Viruses, malware, spyware and other Web exploits.

There’s also some new stuff thrown that your customers may not have extended their thinking to yet, such as legal discovery and reporting requirements, snoopware, device theft and reputation damage.

As most mobile workers will need to connect to the corporate network at some time, there is also a need for organisations to ensure network intrusion prevention technologies extend right to the perimeter.

Bu t regardless of the type of threat, all vendors stress the need for urgency in security practices and processes. As the amount of threats grow exponentially, and as more mobile clients are brought into the network, channel partners need to be vigilant in ensuring customers keep their security policies up to date and avoid being vulnerable in future.

As well as a look from above, we’ve included a case study of one South Australian organisation looking to go mobile but battling with bandwidth limitations from too much spam. By cutting the number of dodgy emails getting through the gateway, Zoos SA was able to dedicate more time to developing mobility tools allowing staff to manage information while on the go.

Readers will also find security software and hardware products from a raft of vendors in the latter part of the guide.

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