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Tuesday, 27 September 2011 10:18

Smartphones are huge danger to companies

Written by Nick Farell
y_analyst

Strategy Analytics warning
Security analysts Strategy Analytics are warning that companies are under threat from their employee's use of smartphones.

According to Strategy Analytics, sales of mobile devices in the second quarter of 2011 grew 16.5 percent year-on-year. Smartphone sales grew 74 percent year-on-year and accounted for 25 percent of overall sales in the second quarter of 2011, up from 17 percent in the second quarter of 2010.

What is causing the problem is that where staff used to carry laptops when they went out of the office, to retrieve email and use other applications on the move, they can now carry just a smartphone. This potentially allows them to send and receive emails, use a variety of applications, link to the company network to access data and use network-based applications, access social networking sites, and carry out online e-commerce and banking transactions.

As a result they lose them. Research by getsafeonline shows that about one in five owners of smartphone devices can expect to lose or have them stolen at some point.

Surveys show the level of phone loss in London taxis is at a world-leading, and fairly consistent, 10,000 per month. To make matters worse there has been pressure on IT staff to connect these smartphones to VPNs and a lost phone is an automatic entry into the company network.

Philippe Winthrop, an analyst at consultancy Strategy Analytics said that if he took a tablet or a smartphone and mucked around with it, he could find the VPN it is set up on. It's a huge risk not being dealt with enough today. Getsafeonline’s Tony Neate added that users must remember that they are essentially carrying around a tiny laptop with a wealth of personal information that is very attractive to fraudsters.

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