Smart phones are so ingrained into business now; it is almost a requirement to have one. It is used for emails, tweets, contact information, texting, maps to get you to clients, apps to entertain you while waiting for clients, and dare I say it...phone calls!
The problem is that the smart phones are the one part of your company with sensitive information that walks out the door every day. There are emails with company information, contacts that are important or telling, access to internal systems all on these devices and pictures that are geotagged.
Few businesses or IT companies have addressed this issue to control and maintain a standard for the phones that protect their companies. These devices are more vulnerable than most people think. Each can get malware just like computers which steal information from the phone. This usually is done by the user downloading an application to the phone which comprises the phone. How many users really read the information on what the app access on the phone?
There are a lot of things to consider about the phones. Phones get lost, stolen, can be access without the user knowing, the user could leave the company with the phone. There is even the government to worry about. Yes, it is time to put on your tin foil hat and read along. Recently there have been several cases of phones being subject to searches during routine traffic stops, legally. In some states there isn't a requirement to have a warrant to go through the phone, even it if is off and not in plain sight. The phone is considered to be a container and personal property similar to clothes. If the Officers could search your person for weapons or illegal materials, then the phone is fair game as well. There have been convictions based off of text messages found in phones. Luckily, there are campaigns to make the warrant required to conduct the search, but we will see if they get passed. Why should you care? Well, some of these searches involve downloading ALL the data on the phone and keeping it. Your company data is now in the hands of the Government, in data storage facilities that you do not control and maintained by whoever was the lowest bidder for the job. Comforting isn't it.
You can take off the tin foil hat now……
What can you do to remedy this? Create your policies that control or set the level of expectations for the usage, maintenance and protection of the phones. The Information Technology groups are best placed to champion these changes. We understand the technology, business needs, and the users who use the phones.
A great resource I found on the internets was from the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-124 - Guidelines on Cell Phone and PDA Security. Yes it says PDA...I know seems dated, the publication came out in 2008. But it is still a great place to start. It has information on what the risks are, suggestions on how to reduce the risks, and insights that will help make informed decisions. Set up your protection now before something happens. It isn't a matter of if, just when.
by Mark, "The Mind, Sarro
Like it or not Apple is here and becoming more integrated into business environments. I myself on one occasion or another have used my iPad or iPhone for a business need. Here are 10 Apps that will keep you moving forward for your business needs.
- This app allows you to instant message make and receive calls to anyone else on Skype with your iPhone or iPad. The newest version of this app allows you to use it over 3G and to keep it running in the background.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad. iOS 3.0 or laterand is free in the app store. 4.5 star rating.
- This app will allow you directly control your Mac or PC along with all of your programs and files. You can remotely run any business application like CRM, ERP, Salesforce, and Microsoft Office.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad; iOS 3.0 or later and it costs $29.99 in the app store. 4 star rating.
- A universal translator for your phone! 52 languages, Text-to-Speak features can say the translation for you in the language you choose.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad: iOS 3.0 or later and is free. 3.5 star rating.
- Create text, photo and audio notes, auto-synchronize your notes to your Mac, PC and web.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad; iOS 3.0 or later and is free in the app store.
- 3 star rating.
Awesome Note (+Todo)
- An innovative note taking app with the flexibility to insert images into notes, insert maps, create To-do notes, alarms, calendar view in every folder, full sync with Google Docs and Evernote.
- The app is compatible with iOS 4.0 devices and is $3.99. 4.0 star rating.
- By far one of my favorite apps; this app allows you to easily share and sync files and folders across multiple computers. The app requires an account with Dropbox, which is free and includes 2.0 GB of storage. Simply install the client on the PC you want to share files with and drag and drop files or folders into your “My Dropbox” folder.
- The app is compatible with iPhone or iPad and is free. 4.0 star rating.
- The app for managing your professional social network account. This app gives you the ability to look up the details and connect with over 85 million professionals.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad devices and is free. 2.5 star rating.
1Password (For iPhone)
- This app will securely store your important information and can automatically log you into websites with a single tap.
- The app is compatible with all iPhone devices and is $9.99. 4.0 star rating.
Print n Share
- Print to all printers and any document type via your Mac/PC. Prints to most WiFi/Wireless printers without extra software. Mount your iPad/iPhone/iPod as a network disk on your Mac/PC. Drag and drop documents and files to or from your devices.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad and is $8.99. 4.0 star rating.
Mocha VNC Lite
- This app provides access to a VNC server. You can remotely connect to your Windows PC or Mac OS X and see the files, programs and resources the same as if you were sitting right in front of it. I have this app and the Mocha Remote Desktop Lite installed on my iPad and I have used both of these for various business and personal needs.
- The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad and is free. 3.0 star rating.
Trigon prides itself on being on the cutting edge for new mobile technology, and the iOS platform is no different. Contact us today on how we can help your mobile needs.
My blogs are biased, I’ll unashamedly admit it. I talk an awful lot about Apple, sing their praises, and flaunt the fact that their mobile technology products are changing the game. Well, pretty soon, with the help of Google, there’ll be a new game changer in town; you. You’ll become your own game changer, optimizing everything for yourself and for your business.
“How”, you ask?
I first came across this factoid in the New York Times. The article states that “Google is bringing Android software development to the masses.” Starting yesterday, Monday, July 12, 2010 – Google will be offering a tool that allows for the easy creation of apps for Android phones. Need an app that will help you optimize your business processes, or maybe one that will help you stay up to date with the meetings your sales team members are currently at? If so, there’s an app for that…potentially, if you create it.
The article states that, “The free software, called Google App Inventor for Android (http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/), has been under development for a year. User testing has been done mainly in schools with groups that included sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergraduates who are not computer science majors.” Sounds like it can’t be too hard to use.
Don’t believe me?
Well you should, because later in the article it’s mentioned that some of the apps can be created in just a manner of minutes.
According to the article, “The goal is to enable people to become creators, not just consumers, in this mobile world,” said Harold Ableson, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is on sabbatical at Google and led the project.” Mr. Ableson then goes on to say, “The Google project is intended to give users, especially young people, a simple tool to let them tinker with smartphone software, much as people have done with computers.”
I don’t know about you, but I like the way Mr. Ableson thinks. Having the ability to create apps that you need, when you need them, will truly be a blessing. In terms of IT Support and IT Mobility, there is so much that can be done with apps that will improve each individual business and its daily processes.
Welcome to the world of game changers (at least in my one-sided mind), Android.