How secure is your tablet?

How secure is your tablet?

Experts expect cyber criminal activity, including identity theft and virus attacks, to rise in Australia

Data breaches cost Australians $US1.83 million in 2009, or $US114 per Australian per year, according to a study conducted by The Ponemon Institute in 2010.

With the number of tablets expected to increase in the coming months and organisations such as the Australian department of defence adopting tablets into systems, experts expect cyber criminal activity, including identity theft and virus attacks, to rise in Australia.

By the end of this year, there will be nearly 50 different tablet devices in the market and over the next 12 to 18 months, there are going to be about 100 million of these devices in the Asia-Pacific market.

According to CA Technologies principal consultant, Trevor Iverach, this poses challenges for the consumers of IT – especially C-level executives who use the technology to access company information.

Iverach said that hackers are trying to infiltrate organisations and grab data and information and there is not one industry that faces the issue more than another.

“If it contains non-public information, financial information, personal identifiable information or personal property, the value for someone who wants to steal the device increases,” he said.

He suggested that consumers have to approach the risk in two ways – securing the device and securing the data.

Research In Motion (RIM) suggested steps that consumers can take to secure their data. It includes:

  1. Protecting sensitive work content by turning on and enabling encryption
  2. Keeping work and private information separate
  3. Checking privacy settings in social media channels
  4. Treating the tablet like a wallet or purse
  5. Applying a strong PIN or password and regularly changing it
  6. ‘Cleansing’ the tablet before passing it on
  7. Only connecting to trustable networks
  8. Protecting sensitive data over public networks by using SSL
  9. Only installing trustable apps
  10. Browsing trustable websites
  11. Regularly downloading available software updates

Iverach mentioned companies should secure devices by determining each tablet’s uniquely identifiable DNA code, adopting two-factor-authentication, using software-based password authentication or utilise data loss prevention (DLP) to ensure access is provided to only those devices.

“Organisations are focused on a layered security approach which hackers infiltrate quite easily because they are using threats such as social security and malware. It needs to evolve to a data centric approach,” he said.

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Tags RIMmalwareidentity theftvirussoftwarecacyber criminalThe Ponemon Institute

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