Mobile devices were the stars of the Consumer Electronics Show and as the wireless industry awaits for all the hot gadgets to come to market, mobile managers should start preparing for the accompanying security risks. Here we outline the top 10 security tips based on CES trends.
Each January in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) offers a peek at next year's hottest high-tech gadgetry. As CES 2010 attendees gazed longingly at Internet-connected 3D TVs, automobiles, and e-Readers, we couldn't help but ponder their security implications. Because forewarned is forearmed, here is our Top Ten list of potential risks that enterprises should consider and a few new counter-measures.
10) Lost mobile devices
Enterprises are already painfully aware of the risk associated with lost laptops. With this year's bumper crop of netbooks, smartbooks, and smartphones, that risk grows. From the Google Nexus and Motorola Backflip to the Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid and Freescale Smartbook Tablet, we're talking lighter, thinner -- and even easier to lose. But we also spotted a creative counter-measure at CES: Zomm's "wireless leash" for Bluetooth-enabled devices. Stray too far from your device and this key-fob vibrates. In a pinch, the Zomm can also answer incoming calls or dial 911.
9) Wireless espionage
Wireless cameras are made with good intentions, but these tiny tykes have grown so inexpensive and easy that potential abuse must be taken seriously. Consider the Avaak Vue Personal Video Network ($299, a self-configuring mesh of 2.9 x 1.0 x 2.1-inch wireless cameras that transmit ten minutes of video per day for an entire year on a single battery. Real-time feeds are relayed by a paperback-sized gateway across the Internet to your iPhone. The time has probably come for enterprises to be on the look-out for unobtrusive wireless cameras installed without authorization.
8) Location leakage
Location-awareness has become standard on 3G/4G/Wi-Fi devices, driving a surge in apps that leverage this knowledge. Many location-based services were demonstrated at CES 2010, from vehicle navigation to apps that help friends find each other. Such services can be a double-edged sword essential to support certain business activities, but possibly "leaky" if used without IT guidance. For example, Root Wireless announced a free smartphone app that "crowd sources" location and usage data from volunteers to generate detailed carrier coverage maps. Enterprises can tap this data to pick the best carrier(s) for their workforce -- but they should also be concerned about workers sharing business smartphone locations with any unauthorized third party.