Feb 17 2011

RSA conference looks at online vulnerability

Category: cyber security,Smart PhoneDISC @ 5:27 pm

By James Temple

The hottest trends in technology also represent some of the gravest threats to corporate data security.

Mobile devices, social networking and cloud computing are opening up new avenues for both cyber criminals and competitors to access critical business information, according to speakers at this week’s RSA Conference 2011 at San Francisco’s Moscone_Centerand a survey set for release this morning.

The poll of 10,000 security professionals, by Mountain View market research firm Frost & Sullivan, also concluded that corporate technology staffs are frequently ill prepared to deal with many of the new threats presented by these emerging technologies.

“The professionals are really struggling to keep up,” said Rob Ayoub, global program director for information security research at Frost & Sullivan.

  • Mobile: Mobile devices ranked near the top of their security concerns, coming in second behind applications, such as internally developed software and Internet browsers.
  • Businesses face a number of threats from the increasingly common use of smart phones and tablets by their workers, including malicious software that attacks the operating systems, or the simple loss or theft of devices often laden with corporate information.

    Juniper Networks, a sponsor of the RSA conference, presented some eye-catching – if also self-serving – statistics during a session titled “Defend Your Mobile Life.”

    Mark Bauhaus, an executive vice president at Juniper, said that 98 percent of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets aren’t protected with any security software, and that few users set up a password. That’s troublesome, he said, given that:

    — 2 million people in the United States either lost or had their phones stolen last year;

    — 40 percent of people use their smart phone for both personal and business use;

    — 72 percent access sensitive information, including banking, credit card and medical records;

    — 80 percent access their employer’s network over these devices without permission.

    Read more: New Technologies bring new threats

    Mobile devices new threats and countermeasures

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