Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Mobile Safety and Security

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by billp | No Comments

Think back ten years ago and try to remember what kind of mobile device you were carrying. Calling it a “device” may even be a stretch because, more than likely, your device was a phone that made calls and did little more. You may have had a WAP web browser and texted using your phone keypad, but your phone was primarily for making and receiving calls. Now we carry devices/phones that are dramatically more powerful and capable, sometimes even taking the place of PCs for working on the road. Along with this increased capacity comes safety and security risks – both personal and professional – that need to be considered.

Whether you carry an aging smartphone or a brand-new Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, Nokia Lumia 900, or similar, you can be exposing yourself or your business data to theft if you’re not careful. The New York Police Department recently revealed that thefts involving Apple products have increased 40% over the same period last year, resulting in a 4% increase in overall crime. But there are things you can do to protect your personal property and the business and personal data you carry on your smart devices.

Here are some suggestions to improve your mobile safety and security, and possibly even your personal safety.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. Don’t use your mobile device to check the time when a stranger asks at night. Don’t use your mobile device near a subway, bus, etc. exit. Treat your mobile device as you would your wallet.
  2. Use security software that can help locate your mobile device if it is stolen. Apple provides Find My iPhone as a free service to all iCloud users, and this can also be used for iPads and iPod Touch devices. A well-respected solution for Android users is Lookout Mobile Security.
  3. Protect your mobile device with a access code of some kind – password, passcode, or PIN. This simple measure can protect your personal and business data in the event of theft. We recommend the use of longer passwords or passcodes over a simple PIN for increased security. Taking it a step further, most mobile operating systems allow you to wipe your device if an access code is incorrectly entered a certain number of times.
  4. Use encryption on your mobile device, if possible. Be aware that encryption can have a slight impact on battery life due to the process of encrypting/decrypting your data. iOS, Android, and the upcoming Windows Phone 8 (but, sadly, not Windows Phone 7) all support device encyption.
  5. In a business, enforce mobile device policies. All of the major mobile operating systems provide tools for centralized device management and security policy enforcement, and many third-party value-add tools exist as well. Such tools allow businesses to enforce device access code usage and complexity, remotely and securely wipe lost or stolen devices, and enforce device encryption, among many other settings.

From the standpoint of personal safety, texting while driving is getting a lot of attention. Many States have enacted laws prohibiting texting while driving. Distractions while driving – texting or otherwise – are a danger. The government site distraction.gov reports that ‘In 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.” The mobile carriers are starting campaigns or using technology against texting while driving; AT&T started the “It Can Wait” campaign, Sprint has “Focus on Driving,” and Verizon is conducting a “Don’t Text and Drive Pledge” in Ohio high schools. Sixth-grader Victoria Walker was recently awarded $20,000.00 by AT&T to bring to market a mobile app she designed called “Rode Dog,” designed to bark at your to warn you against texting while driving.

The bottom line is that your personal safety is far more important that your mobile device usage. Don’t text while driving. Be smart about when, where, and how you use your device. Protect yourself and your information.

Do you have questions about how to secure your mobile device? Do you want to use tools to enforce security policies across your business mobile devices? Contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at info@coldencompany.com or see us on Facebook or Twitter (@coldenco) if you want to use your devices safely and securely.







How to protect personal data on devices you plan to sell

Posted on: March 30th, 2012 by billp | No Comments

A recent study shows that it’s almost impossible to get rid of personal information from some devices, even if you follow the manufacturer’s directions for wiping the device clean. BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows 7 devices are reported safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions for securely wiping them, but Android and Windows XP are another question. If you’re not sure if you’re safe, contact us for help.

How to protect personal data on devices you plan to sell (Los Angeles Times; March 29, 2012)

Importance of Developing a Mobile Security Policy

Posted on: March 30th, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

The ubiquitous nature of mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and Android devices among consumers has led to an interesting dilemma for IT security professionals. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work has become the norm in many organizations today. Gartner has stated that, by 2014, 90 percent of organizations will support corporate applications on consumer devices and 80 percent of professionals will use at least two personal devices to access corporate data. The general capital outlay is decreasing, but is it at the terrible expense of security, privacy and control? Those devices are downloading company email, connecting to company resources, and potentially storing sensitive company information. What happens to that information when an employee leaves the company? That question is causing security professionals to investigate mobile device security.

MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions are now becoming an important component to companies’ IT security plans. Software can play a part in security, but without a comprehensive mobile security policy, the software will not accomplish your goals. Colden Company Inc. recommends that businesses review their company or HR handbooks and develop clear and enforceable policies centered around mobile devices. For example, do you allow your employees to download company email to their personal phone? Is that acceptable? Should their device have a passcode or password on it? What do you do if the employee leaves the company? Is it clear that employees should not download company data onto their personal mobile devices? What are the penalties for non-compliance? It is important that the policy be developed with the input of business leaders, not just left at the doorstep of the IT department.

Once the policy is written and reviewed, there are a variety of tools available for remotely wiping phones, implementing password policies, and enforcing other security policies. It is tempting to put the cart before the horse and purchase the tools before the policy is developed, but we caution against that.

What is clear is that mobile devices are going to continue to play a larger and more important role in business computing. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve are understanding this trend and proactively addressing it. If your business would like to discuss how it can stay ahead , please contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at info@coldencompany.com or see us on Facebook or Twitter.







PC Magazine 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards – Smartphones and Mobile Carriers

Posted on: March 29th, 2012 by billp | No Comments

PC Magazine recently published their 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. Of particular interest to businesses will be the Smartphones and Mobile Carriers category.

Here is a summary of the awards.

Mobile Operating System: Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 tie for Readers’ Choice.
Smartphones by Carrier: Apple’s iPhone is a Readers’ Choice across all carriers that support it, with Windows Phone 7 and Android smartphones making a strong showing.
Mobile Carriers: U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless receive Readers’ Choice for contract phones. T-Mobile receives Readers’ Choice for pre-paid phones.

You can read the full report here. (PC Magazine; Mar 28, 2012)

Do you need help selecting a mobile solution for your business? Let us help. Contact us at (888) 600-4560, info@coldencompany.com, see us on Facebook or Twitter @coldenco.

Develop a Mobile Strategy for Your Business

Posted on: January 31st, 2012 by billp | No Comments

Few markets are undergoing such constant and rapid change as the mobile technology market. Smartphones and tablets are fighting to replace laptops as the road-warrior’s tool of choice. Once-dominant players are now fighting for survival. The strength of a particular manufacturer’s hardware now has far less to do with success than the platform and, arguably more importantly, the apps that run on it. Integration with business email systems is becoming easier. IT is becoming “consumerized” with many businesses opting to allow employees to provide their own phones as long as they meet certain business-necessary criteria. It’s important that your business adopt a mobile strategy to ensure ongoing security, supportability, and success for your increasingly mobile and connected workforce.

Research in Motion, RIM, makes of the venerable BlackBerry smartphone line, a long-time favorite of businesses for providing best-in-class mobile email and security using their BlackBerry Enterprise Server solution, is struggling to maintain relevance in an increasingly consumer-dominated market. RIM is making substantial changes to their BlackBerry operating system (OS) in the upcoming “BlackBerry 10.” Where device launches are concerned, RIM has a slow year ahead with a new 7-inch PlayBook tablet – a device that cost the company nearly half a billion dollars last quarter – and a single BlackBerry 10 smartphone that won’t launch until late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter. Analysts are suggesting that RIM’s changes may be too little, too late in the face of its competition.

An Achilles’ heel for RIM may be what was once considered one of its greatest strengths – the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Offering security, integration with all of the market-leading on-premise business email systems (Exchange, Domino, etc.), and device management, BES was seen as the must-have solution for businesses that wanted control over their mobile workforce’s devices. While not as comprehesive, many business email systems now offer built-in mobile device management and security. Even Google’s cloud-based Google Apps for Business offers very solid management of mobile devices via a variety of policies that control password requirements, device wipe, etc. The additional cost and management overhead of BES is more of a potential burden than a strength for RIM’s customers.

The market leaders are Apple with it’s iPhone, iPad, and iOS, and Google with its Android operating system and multiple tablet and smartphone hardware partners. Microsoft is making aggressive moves with its Windows Phone operating system and key hardware partners such as Nokia. All of these platforms offer excellent integration with business email systems (particularly Microsoft Exchange via their built-in ActiveSync solution), manageability, and security. If you’re using Exchange, email, contacts, and calendar integration is a simple matter of enabling ActiveSync support on your server through your firewall and configuring the mobile device – no additional software infrastructure is required.

A key differentiating factor for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android is their app catalogs. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for each platform, demonstrating a solid commitment by mobile app developers to furthering the platforms. RIM and Microsoft are much weaker in this area. When you’re selecting a mobile platform for your business, spend time thinking about and researching the apps you think would be important to your business. Do you want VPN access to your business network? Do you want to be able to edit Microsoft Office files? Do you want secure access to your Windows file server? Do you want to access a terminal server? Apps of varying quality are available for both iOS and Android that can perform these tasks and many more. Spend some time thinking about what you want to do with your mobile devices and then make sure the platform follows your needs – not the other way around.

While RIM has a long history of leadership in the mobile market, and you should never bet against Microsoft’s determination to be a strong presence in a major market, the best bet for your business today would be a device based on iOS or Android. Both have strong integration with your business email systems, active and enthusiastic developer communities with the app catalogs to back it, and the support of strong companies with a commitment to the mobile market. Both iOS and Android will be a presence in the smartphone and tablet markets for many years to come, and their competition will lead to better products and more pervasive business use and support.

Colden Company has experience with all of the major mobile platforms and can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each against your business needs. Call us at (888) 600-4560 and ask how we can assist your business in utilizing these powerful mobile technologies to keep your business a step ahead of your competition. You can also find us on FaceBook, on Twitter @coldenco, or send us an email.