Your Network May Be Safe, But What About Your Company Phones and PDAs?

by | Jan/14/2008

A common theme you will notice in my new book “The Secure CEO” for protecting your network is the concept of Central Management. What’s that? Well, ask any IT professional, and they’ll tell you that one of the worst things in our career is when we have to change something on all the company’s computers. It doesn’t matter if you have five computers, 50 computers, 500 computers, or more, that’s way too much work to visit each computer, phone, or PDA, individually. We want to be able to manage things centrally.

Today’s organizations have PDAs, cell phones, Blackberries, etc. All of these devices also hold sensitive data. So what happens when one of your employees is traveling for business and accidentally leaves his mobile phone or PDA in a taxi? If you had a central management system in place, that employee would simply call the IT department and tell them what happened. Then someone in IT can make a few keystrokes on the keyboard and erase everything in that particular phone or PDA.

Now, everything on that phone gets securely erased. And when I say securely erased, that means inside that phone it’s writing ones and zeros on the data card to actually erase information. Even data forensics can’t get that data back anymore. It’s just gone.

In the event that whoever rides in the taxi next finds the phone and somehow returns it to you, your IT department can make a few more keystrokes on the keyboard and restore all the data. That sure beats having to go through a four-hour process of reloading everything.

So don’t overlook your cell phone and PDA when it comes to data security. There are tools out there that will help you use them.

What are your thoughts on this topic?