Messaging and security

News Analysis

Messaging and security

The recent Message 05 show in North London may not have had a glitzy title, nor to be honest did it seem to attract a huge turnout of visitors.

But at least a strong billing of high profile speakers such as Jim Norton from the Institute of Directors, Peter Skyte from Amicus, Roger Ellis from the IT Directors Forum, and a series of representatives from Orange, O2 and Cap Gemini offered the prospect of a real insight into messaging security.

One intriguing development was the idea that stolen corporate mobiles can be ‘zapped’ via a text message to wipe the devices by remotely ‘hard-resetting’ them. Such a move could thwart security threats from both a device and a network perspective. Not only can the device hold sensitive corporate information such as documents and email, but it can also hold network authentication information too, meaning that if an attacker steals the device, they not only have access to the corporate data, but also enterprise infrastructure such as file and application servers.

If such a security approach – zapping the storage to ‘reset it’ – can apply to mobiles and PDAs, couldn’t it equally apply to lost or stolen corporate laptops? If the machines had some form of communications device, and could receive external messages, then perhaps any ‘at-risk’, sensitive data on the machine could be similarly remotely wiped.

Sounds a little too simple to be credible, don’t you think? Or is it?

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