Log in

View Full Version : IT Week: Employees Need Handheld Handholding

Darius Wey
07-01-2005, 08:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.itweek.co.uk/itweek/comment/2139177/employees-handheld-handholding' target='_blank'>http://www.itweek.co.uk/itweek/comm...eld-handholding</a><br /><br /></div><i>"While firms' interest in smartphones is said to be growing, some barriers to widespread adoption remain. For IT administrators, managing small wireless devices that travel wherever the user goes is probably the foremost challenge, not to mention security. A growing number of vendors supply tools to tackle these issues, usually as part of a middleware platform that offers mobile access to email or enterprise applications. However, these tools operate through a software client that sits on the mobile device, and this usually means that someone has to manually install the client before the device can be reached through the administrator console. This question of how to speed up initial setup and configuration has yet to be addressed. It would probably be best if the whole mobile industry reached a consensus, rather than each vendor offering their own proprietary solution."</i><br /><br />IT Week has published a short article discussing the dilemmas associated with widespread adoption of mobile devices - the biggest concern being the remote management of devices from a central IT administration point. Windows Mobile 5.0 solves some of these issues by providing a remote wipe feature which helps protect sensitive data. But is that enough? What do you think can be done to help push for greater adoption of mobile devices in the workplace?

07-01-2005, 10:40 PM
Our company has moved our email server to Microsoft Exchange. This is the first step in getting everyone "mobilized". :lol:

07-02-2005, 07:39 PM
"Remote wipe" has been obsolete for a couple years now. The problem is that most devices now have built in memory.

Try this..take an IPAQ 5555 series and program your fingerprint scan for the biometric reader. Now do a complete hard reset to competely "wipe" the data. Now reset the login on the "clean" device. Guess what? It still recognizes your old fingerprint! Even though the device was supposedly "wiped." (This worked on the last ROM version that I tried a couple of years ago, but the default storage location may have been updated since then.)

Most new devices have a lot of internal storage (up to 40MB or more), plus external memory cards up to several GB. Any IT admin worth his Mountain Dew will have a written policy that those areas of memory need to be encrypted if sensitive data is stored there.

What is sometimes missing in a corporate PDA policy is that all non-RAM areas of memory need to be securely "shredded" (overwritten with random data several times) before a device is sold or destroyed -- thus truly wiping both external cards and internal storage that a "remote wipe" can never do.

Gartner has a good review of it here:

Of course, there are a lot of different ways to approach this issue at the corporate level, and it would be interesting if more IT admins posted their thought here.