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BCS ITNow 201303 - Cope, Educate, Secure

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Gareth Niblett, Chairman of the BCS Information Security Specialist Group, thinks mobile security is about education.

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BCS ITNow 201303 - Cope, Educate, Secure

  1. 1. March 2013 ITNOW 25 It’s been 30 years since the first commercial handheld cellular phone hit the market. Costing $3,995, and likened to a brick, it immediately gained a long waiting list. Price and size has reduced in the intervening years, and popularity has soared. Technology has moved from analogue to digital and handsets can now do so much more than make and receive voice telephone calls. We’ve seen the introduction of short message service (SMS), multi-media message service (MMS), PDA functions (address book, calendar, notes), email, browsing (WAP through to modern browsers), full internet access and apps. Each new capability has opened up additional potential exposures for users. Modern smartphones combine elements of mobile phone, PDAs and laptop into a small, easily lost or stolen, high value device. With increasing storage capacity and financial capabilities, such as e-wallets and near-field communication (NFC), we are storing more and more confidential information. Its value, and impact when lost, just increases. Although manufacturers, operators, OS/app vendors and businesses try and control and/or secure their platforms, there are limits to what is technically possible and acceptable to users. Many people are no longer content with a device that cannot perform the functions or run the apps they see others do. Some take exception to any level of control/security and will ‘jailbreak’ or unlock devices so that they can run INFORMATION SECURITY what they want on whatever network is available. Phones are not the only devices we’re mobile with either. PDAs, laptops, tablets all add to the risk and complexity, as does the growth in employees using their own devices and bringing them into the enterprise. Users need to be risk aware and organisations must cope, educate and secure. Gareth Niblett, Chairman of the BCS Information Security Specialist Group, thinks mobile security is about education. Information Security Specialist Group (ISSG): Information Risk Management and Assurance Specialist Group: BCS Security Community of Expertise (SCoE): FURTHER INFORMATION COPE EDUCATE SECURE doi:10.1093/itnow/bws135©2013TheBritishComputerSocietyImage:iStockPhoto/124929990 INTERACTING WITH COMPUTERS General Editor: Dianne M. Murray Deputy Editor: Gitte Lindgaard FROM 2013, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WILL BE THE PROUD PUBLISHERS OF Visit to: Browse tables of contents and abstracts Download full text articles (if your library subscribes) Submit your paper Sign up for table of contents email alerts Read a free sample issue And more! 1 Don’t miss a single issue Sign up for free email table of contents alerts at or simply scan this QR code with your smartphone. Subscribe for as little as £70 + VAT As a member of BCS, you can subscribe to Interacting with Computers online for only £70 +VAT (non-member price £110)