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      Mobile Phones Seen as Data Threat in 2012

      Jan 12, 2012
      The Globe and Mail reported that mobile phones have become a key target for hackers and an increasing worry for corporate IT departments. According to the article, a Deloitte study released in late December 2011 revealed that companies in the technology, media, and telecom sector expect data stored on staff mobile devices will be their biggest security headache in 2012.

       The Globe and Mail reported that mobile phones have become a key target for hackers and an increasing worry for corporate IT departments. According to the article, a Deloitte study released in late December 2011 revealed that companies in the technology, media, and telecom sector expect data stored on staff mobile devices will be their biggest security headache in 2012.

      The increase in the use of smartphones is largely responsible for the concern as the emergence of their use for making mobile payments has caught the eye of hackers and data thieves. The article noted that shoppers can now simply swipe their phones at a cash register to complete their transactions, and most users have not protected their smartphones. In fact, according to Juniper Research, fewer than 5% of smartphones and tablets are installed with security software.

      “Mobile security has become a major concern since smartphone transactions are now of much higher value, including corporate data access, managing personal finances and online purchases,” said Steven Nathasingh, chief of U.S. research firm Vaxa Inc.

      Research firm Gartner revealed that in the United States alone, 113 mobile phones are lost every minute. But, according to the article, phones don’t have to be lost to be vulnerable. At a recent hackers’ convention, Karsten Nohl, a well-known expert on mobile phone security, demonstrated how to get remote control of phones to which he should not have had access to send text messages and make calls.

      “With more and more mobile devices being hijacked without the owner’s knowledge, the risk of identity theft and personal financial loss is intensifying,” said Peter Davin, chief executive of Cryptzone.

      “Employees should be made aware that using a personal device to access corporate data may also have personal implications,” said Davin. “For example if the device is lost, stolen or clandestinely taken over, the organization may decide to wipe data.”

       This monthly advisory contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the management of records and information in Canada.

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