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Risk

10/15/2007
02:44 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Mobile Security: The Data, Not The Notebook Is The Asset

Stolen laptops and notebooks continue to get a lot of attention when a lot of confidential data gets stolen along with the device.

Stolen laptops and notebooks continue to get a lot of attention when a lot of confidential data gets stolen along with the device.Which ought to make you wonder why all that data is on all those laptops and notebooks in the first place.

The real challenges of mobile security and mobile device management need to include blunt and hard-nosed consideration of just how much information your employees need on those mobile devices -- and at the same time taking an equally hard look at why they need (or think they need) that data.

Addressing those issues first can open your eyes -- and maybe change your business approach to mobile device security.

Bearing in mind that mobile device users put data at risk more often than desk-bound users, you may well find that data residing on mobile devices is a business risk too large to take.

Clearly, there are employees -- and jobs -- that absolutely require resident data that travels with the worker. Most, I would bet, don't.

If the reason for data on mobile devices is primarily one of convenience for the employee -- or even increased employee efficiency on the road -- it's time for a re-think, and probably a re-configuration that keeps the data on your network and requires the employee to access it there.

That way if the notebook or laptop gets stolen, you're out some hardware and some money -- not material that can put your business itself at risk.

To paraphrase the philosopher Peter Clemenza: "Take the laptop, leave the data."

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