Risk
8/30/2007
04:00 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
50%
50%

Mobile Computing Makes For Risky Business

Here's one we all already know -- mobile computer users take more security risks than office-bound computer users. A new survey shows just how risky their behavior is.

Here's one we all already know -- mobile computer users take more security risks than office-bound computer users. A new survey shows just how risky their behavior is.The Trend Micro survey polled 1800 mobile computers users worldwide, and while it drew its respondents from the corporate world the results offer insights -- and concerns -- for small to midsize businesses.

For one thing, 58 percent of mobile users admitted to sending confidential material in e-mail or by IM, as opposed to 42 percent connecting via company networks.

One "no duh" result is that mobile users, being likelier to connect through public or unsecured networks, get more spam, receive more phishing baits, etc.

Being away from the boss's -- or even their co-workers' -- eyes makes mobile users likelier to visit social networking sites and download movies or executable files, again by a large margin over deskbound staff.

Curiously, Trend Micro suggests "that mobile users are often more technically savvy and better educated regarding esoteric security threats such as pharming and phishing." Good news, since they're exposing themselves to more attacks.

Curious because the company's CTO also observed that, "Mobile workers may often be unaware of the risk they pose to the corporate network and that their behavior is increasing the risk to corporate security."

How technically savvy is that?

A certain amount of risky computing practices away from the office is probably unavoidable. "Unwareness" is inexcusable.

The risky behavior of mobile computer users is matched, in my opinion, by the behavior of a company -- of any size -- that issues mobile devices to employees without first putting that employee through a rigorous security training and awareness program that includes signing a detailed computer security and usage policy that has real teeth.

Giving employees a notebook and sending them out into the world without taking such measures? Now that's risky business.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7896
Published: 2015-03-03
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in HP XP P9000 Command View Advanced Edition Software Online Help, as used in HP Device Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Tiered Storage Manager 6.x through 8.x before 8.1.2-00, HP XP P9000 Replication Manager 6.x and 7.x before ...

CVE-2014-9283
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Captcha plugin before 4.0.7 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-9683
Published: 2015-03-03
Off-by-one error in the ecryptfs_decode_from_filename function in fs/ecryptfs/crypto.c in the eCryptfs subsystem in the Linux kernel before 3.18.2 allows local users to cause a denial of service (buffer overflow and system crash) or possibly gain privileges via a crafted filename.

CVE-2015-0890
Published: 2015-03-03
The BestWebSoft Google Captcha (aka reCAPTCHA) plugin before 1.13 for WordPress allows remote attackers to bypass the CAPTCHA protection mechanism and obtain administrative access via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2168
Published: 2015-03-03
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Further investigation showed that it was not a security issue in customer-controlled software. Notes: none.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.