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Handheld Security

Sep 01, 20042 mins
Data and Information SecuritySecurity

Every day, scores of employees waltz out of their offices with the company jewels.

Every day, scores of employees waltz out of their offices with the company jewels. We’re not talking sticky notes and pens, we’re talking about the bits and bytes residing on personal digital assistants. The devices are ubiquitous; they allow busy employees to store customer contact lists, files, memos and plenty of other valuable information that helps them do their jobs better. Better still, they fit in a purse or pocket (hard to say the same for Rolodexes and file folders). But how confident are you that information traveling out of the office doors on PDAs is secure?

Gartner recently released a report that discussed a similar security problem in companiesnamely, employees using devices such as USB flash drives and MP3 players to download company information. Not only do they make it easy for employees to walk sensitive data out the door (either intentionally or unintentionally), they also can introduce worms or viruses into company networks. The report goes on to mention some best practices to combat potential problemsincluding using tools to manage how USBs and FireWire can access ports, using digital rights management technology and putting a desktop lockdown policy in place.

Perhaps the best advice is to make sure your company has strong security policies when it comes to handhelds, portable storage devices and the like. And make sure your employees are well-trained on the dos and don’ts of handheld security, so that the intellectual property of the business is protected both inside and outside company walls.

To learn more about how to safeguard your company from rogue access points, stay tuned for next month’s Machine Shop column.