Earlier this week Apple announced their new line up of iPhones.  The iPhone 5c is a new model catering to smartphone users on a budget, while the iPhone 5s is their newest flagship product.  The iPhone 5s features a new fingerprint sensor known as “Touch ID”  designed to provide access to your new iPhone 5s with the touch of a finger versus a four digit passcode.

Mobile Security  Concerns

According to research by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) mobile device theft or loss is a top concern among IT professionals and small business owners.  CompTIA research also indicates that requiring a pass code to unlock a mobile device passcode is the most utilized defense according to 76% of those surveyed.  But is a four digit passcode enough?

Apple “Touch ID” improves  Mobile Security

Biometrics are far from perfect however, Apple Touch ID is expected to increase mobile security over a four digit pass code.  Apple’s four digit passcode is limited to 10,000 combinations and can be cracked by an expert in under six minutes.  Because some are concerned that Apple Touch ID stores fingerprints on its’ new A7 processor Apple will continue to provide the four digit pass code option for those who choose not use use Apple Touch ID.

Other Mobile Security Concerns

Through cloud sharing applications, Social Media, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) adoption and other mobility trends, mobile devices can create a hole in your company’s IT security architecture.  Access to corporate applications and their data, privacy information and commingling of personal and company assets add to the mobile security challenge.  Mobile devices are the target of mobile threats including: malware, viruses and phishing schemes.  Because of the rapid adoption of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, mobile security is an important issue for businesses today.

Mitigating Mobile Security Risks

Companies are reaping the improved productivity, connectivity and communications by adopting a mobile device strategy within their business.  To mitigate security risks, it is important to have a mobile device policy and mobile device plan within your company.  This includes mobile lifecycle management, mobile application policies, mobile accepted use policies and mobile security training for your employees.  If you use mobile devices within your company (as most companies do) ensure you are doing so in a secure manner by having your IT service professional review your mobile security practices.

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