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Mobile Device Security: What Are You Trying to Protect?

Stephen Fried

One can scarcely pick up a business or technical journal without reading about the promise and future of "mobility." It seems as if everything today is, or wants to be, mobile. There are mobile phones, mobile computers, mobile music players, mobile game players, mobile video players, mobile voice recorders, and mobile book readers. The problem with all this discussion about mobility is that those writing about this brave new world assume that everyone else knows exactly what they mean by "mobility." Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially with a field as new and dynamic as mobile security. There may be a generally understood notion of what the industry calls "mobile data" or a "mobile device," but the precise definition of "mobile" can vary from person to person, from device to device, and from product to product. Until we clearly define and understand these terms, nothing else in this book will make much sense.

One of the things all security professionals learn early in their careers is that all security initiatives must start with one very basic question, What are you trying to protect?

This may seem almost too obvious, but this simple question is often overlooked in the name of expediency, lack of foresight, or just plain carelessness. How many security programs or projects seem to careen out of control or collapse under their own weight trying to satisfy too many requirements at once? Worse yet, many of those projects started with very simple-sounding objectives like, "Protect the network from hackers," or "Find out what information is leaking from the organization," or (a personal favorite) "Just keep us out of the headline news." These are all lofty and worthwhile goals, but hardly the type of concrete direction upon which a ... [Click here to continue.]

Speaking of mobile device security, did you know that you can now use your cell phone to control your home security system with ADT?

Watch an interview with Steve Fried.

About the Author

From Mobile Device Security: A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Your Information in a Moving World by Stephen Fried. New York: Auerbach Publications, 2010.
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