The Future is Mobile but will it be Secure?

The past week has seen three developments likely to fuel future growth in the use of mobile devices. The first is Apple’s UK i-Phone launch, which might not be the most advanced device in terms of functionality but certainly represents a step forward in usability. The second is Google’s announcement of their new open platform for mobile devices, which is likely to accelerate the longer term growth of mobile applications and features. The third is the start of manufacturing of Nicholas Negroponte’s one laptop per child machine which introduces mobile computing, and programming skills, to previously inaccessible regions of the world.

Fast forward a few years and we can expect wireless, mobile operation to be the norm for most people, at both work and play. There’s nothing surprising about this, except for the fact that few organisations have given this channel sufficient security attention. Many security managers were caught off guard by the unexpectedly rapid uptake of wireless LANs and Blackberrys. And, until recently, few organisations had even considered encrypting laptop data. Traditional corporate perimeters don’t safeguard mobile business operations. We need new solutions, new practices and new user behaviour. And time is running out to put them in place.