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-2014-9710
Published: 2015-05-27
The Btrfs implementation in the Linux kernel before 3.19 does not ensure that the visible xattr state is consistent with a requested replacement, which allows local users to bypass intended ACL settings and gain privileges via standard filesystem operations (1) during an xattr-replacement time windo...

CVE-2014-9715
Published: 2015-05-27
include/net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_extend.h in the netfilter subsystem in the Linux kernel before 3.14.5 uses an insufficiently large data type for certain extension data, which allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and OOPS) via outbound network traffic that trig...

CVE-2015-1157
Published: 2015-05-27
CoreText in Apple iOS 8.x through 8.3 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (reboot and messaging disruption) via crafted Unicode text that is not properly handled during display truncation in the Notifications feature, as demonstrated by Arabic characters in (1) an SMS message or (2)...

CVE-2015-2666
Published: 2015-05-27
Stack-based buffer overflow in the get_matching_model_microcode function in arch/x86/kernel/cpu/microcode/intel_early.c in the Linux kernel before 4.0 allows context-dependent attackers to gain privileges by constructing a crafted microcode header and leveraging root privileges for write access to t...

CVE-2015-2830
Published: 2015-05-27
arch/x86/kernel/entry_64.S in the Linux kernel before 3.19.2 does not prevent the TS_COMPAT flag from reaching a user-mode task, which might allow local users to bypass the seccomp or audit protection mechanism via a crafted application that uses the (1) fork or (2) close system call, as demonstrate...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
After a serious cybersecurity incident, everyone will be looking to you for answers -- but you’ll never have complete information and you’ll never have enough time. So in those heated moments, when a business is on the brink of collapse, how will you and the rest of the board room executives respond?