Fortunately, you can easily find products that can strengthen PDA security in a variety of ways. Make certain you install bit-wiping software if you keep classified or highly sensitive information on the device.
In the event that you lose your PDA, if someone inputs the wrong password, or if the PDA is not synchronized within a certain timeframe, the software automatically erases the data. No one should use bit-wiping software lightly, since it's possible to delete your data permanently.
PDAs operate in "always on" mode, and if you own a Wi-Fi enabled PDA, you could transmit data to wireless access points unknowingly. MobileCloak makes an electronic shielding bag to put your PDA in to prevent wireless transmission leakage.
Anti-virus vendors have created versions of their products for PalmOS and PocketPC operating systems, along with a handful of VPN clients, too. You can also find various encryption solutions, authentication products and firewalls. We list some of the better-known PDA security products in a chart on page two of this story.
PDA Security Policies for Businesses
Here's a sample of basic PDA policies that you may want to enforce at your workplace:
- PDAs connected to company equipment must be password protected
- The wireless port on PDAs must be disabled
- All PDAs must have installed anti-virus software
- PDAs must be scanned for viruses prior to connecting to the company network
- PDAs cannot connect to the corporate infrastructure using any wireless means unless the traffic is transmitted through a secure, remote-access VPN
- Storing sensitive corporate information is not allowed unless it is encrypted
- PDAs must have the latest security patches installed on their operating system
- PDAs that contain classified information must have automatic bit wiping software
- Password enforcement software must be installed on all PDAs that connect to company equipment
PDA Security Lowdown
PDAs and smartphones can increase productivity and businesses should not discourage their use.
However, it's important to make sure employees understand the inherent security risks these devices pose.
Publishing PDA security policies on the corporate intranet and periodic reminders to read these policies will educate your employees on the acceptable use of PDAs within the company. At the same time, these rules will hold them accountable for security lapses.
Finally, don't assume that your employees understand the security implications. Businesses should articulate clear guidelines for the safe usage of PDAs.
|Product Type||Product Name||Company||URL|
|Anti-virus, encryption, and authentication solutions||FileCrypto, SSH, Anti-Virus||F-Secure||www.f-secure.com|
|Anti-virus & logging||Security for PDAs||Kaspersky||www.kaspersky.com|
|Anti-virus & logging||Anti-virus for Handhelds||Symantec||www.Symantec.com|
|Database security and authentication||Cradle Robber and ALP||Denton Software||www.dentonsoftware.com|
|Electromagnetic shielding bag||mCloak||Mobile Cloak||www.mobilecloak.com|
|Encryption and authentication solutions||Pointsec for Pocket PC, Pointsec for PalmOS||Pointsec||www.pointsec.com|
|Encryption, password protection, hotsync protection, bit wiping, VPN client||PDA Secure||TrustDigital||www.trustdigital.com|
|Firewall||Mobile Firewall Plus||Bluefire||www.bluefiresecurity.com|
|Password enforcement, hotsync security and IrDa port security, bit wiping, database security||PDA Defense||AsynchronySolutions||www.asolutions.com|
|VPN||VPN-1 SecureClient||Check Point||www.checkpoint.com|
|VPN and encryption||MovianCrypt, MovianVPN||Certicom||www.certicom.com|
|VPN gateways for PDAs||VPN 3000||Cisco||www.cisco.com|
Adapted from smartphone.com.
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