When we surf the web, share pictures, check our bank accounts or download apps these days, chances are we're using smartphones and tablets. But accessing the internet doesn't stop when we walk into the office. We also want to connect those same personal smartphones and tablets to our company's network. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2015, there will be more than 7.4 billion mobile connections.
Many companies are developing policies for allowing us to connect our new gadgets to the network in order to check work email, share work documents and get key customer information. These are some of the security issues we will be talking about at the RSA Conference, which begins today in San Francisco.
Here's the thing. As great as these devices are for getting work done, they're easy to lose and they're also magnets for hackers and thieves. Today's smart devices are packed with loads of highly personal and proprietary company data. And yet, the social norms that govern their use are very different than a laptop. We never hand our kids our corporate laptops, but our corporate-enabled iPads and Androids are in their hands all the time. Still, when you lose a smartphone today, you're losing access to your data, just like you would if you lost a laptop.
What can you do about it? Consider these tips:
And things are only going to get worse.
Smartphones and tablets are fun and they're making it so much easier for all of us to balance our home and work lives. That's why their use is skyrocketing. But so too are the security risks. Your company needs to get ahead of these problems. But, as the person carrying this little mobile computer around on your belt or in your pocket, you also need to take a few steps to keep them -- and you -- safer.
Learn more about Smarter Security here.
Follow Marc van Zadelhoff on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@mvzadel