Securing Mobile Communications
Reports of a bug in the Windows Phone occupied the minds of mobile commentators recently. Transmitted via SMS or chat message, the bug has the effect of causing an auto-reboot of the phone, in the process disabling the message hub.
At the time of writing the only solution appears to be a hard reset of the Windows Phone although Microsoft are believed to be working on a fix. The Windows Phone is not the only one to have been beset by problems in its early stages. As with any technology which is pushing the boundaries, the initial identification of bugs is only as good as the imagination of the designer.
In effect, releasing the new technology to general use allows the device to be secondary tested by the wider public. Designers can be too close to their own creations, expecting them to be used in a certain way and for set paths to be followed. Once loosed on the general public, we use technology in ways undreamed of and that is when the bugs become apparent.
Whilst for some, bugs are annoying, for others they can cause extreme disruption. The pace of technology is such that we use mobile devices more and more for business. Whilst bugs are out of our hands, the security of telephones and telephone systems is very much under our control.
The best line of defense though is the awareness of security issues. Regularly briefing employees on security matters will help to raise awareness as will including security protocols within contracts. Tales of “this breach happened to X company” can be used to galvanize employees into coming up with ways in which the breach won’t occur in your own business, especially if linked to a reward system. Whilst nothing can be done about bugs, keeping communication systems secure can be a company-wide exercise and one which is well worth adding