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Mobile Security Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 22nd, 2019

Introduction

In the modern world, mobile devices are an important part of people’s lives. They include laptops, Personal Digit Assistants (PDAs), and smart phones. They offer a communication opportunity both in personal life and in business transactions (Furnell, 2009). In the recent past, there has been a notable growth in sales of smart phones due to their multiple functions.

For example, there was 40% sale of smart phones in United Kingdom in 2012. Most people now prefer smart phones compared to traditional models of mobile phones. In addition, most people encourage their employees to use smart phones for easiness of communication (Braunberg, 2013).

The use of these mobile devices is very important in the society today due to shifting from analogue communication systems to digital communication systems. Nowadays, most people will prefer using a smart phone rather than use a very heavy computer. This is because the smartphone is portable and can even fit in a handbag or pocket.

Use of PDAs and mobile phones in the places of work is largely contributing to easing of communication. These devices operate nearly the same as desktops besides providing personal information to the owner. They contain features such as phonebook, notepad, and calendar.

In addition to these features, mobile devices receive voice calls and text messages (Jansen & Scarfone, 2008). Due to increase in their demand, there has been rise in hacking and theft. Therefore, it is important to take security measures to protect them.

Organizations store most of their information in these devices. Lack of security can cause such organizations to loose very important data and information thus compromising their productivity.

Among the security concerns that loss of devices can lead to include: data leakage via these devices, virus infection hence distorting the information and even unauthorized traffic interception. These concerns call for enhanced security measures of mobile devices (The Government of the Hong Kong, 2011).

Security of mobile devices

The ubiquitous nature of the wireless devices makes it more vulnerable to security attacks compared to the wired ones. Reports on unauthorized traffic interception as a form of security makes unauthorized people access an organization’s email and other private data sent over the hacked network. Consequently, security is a significant aspect in the wireless systems than in wired communication systems (Venkataram & Babu, 2010).

According to Braunberg, 2013 organizations need to take care of the different applications and software used by the mobile devices. In this case, they should ensure that the devices use only the allowable applications. This would reduce cases of malware attack and viruses.

Security of mobile devices encompasses security of all information and data saved and stored in the tablets, smart phones, laptops, and PDAs. These measures protect the confidential data against abuse.

In addition, such security measures ensure that only the authorized persons can access the information. When unauthorized persons access some information, there may be cases of identity theft, financial theft and breakdown in communication (Paulus, Pohlmann & Reimer, 2005)

Mobile phones and PDAs need a secure infrastructure for suitable management. Security measures should follow proper identifications of the organization’s information systems, guidelines, standards, procedures, and development.

This will enhance integrity, availability of information system resources and even confidentiality. In addition, this will ensure the development of a well-organized and wholesome security system for the mobile devices of such organization. (Jansen & Scarfone, 2008)

The first generation of analogical mobile phones had an electronic serial number that could confirm the terminal to allow access to the service. On the other hand, the recent mobile devices use GSM. Each subscriber receives a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) required before using the service. SIM has the user’s identity and authentication key, which is only active during the subscription time.

Moreover, SIM is an independent terminal, which is removable. SIM is one of the major forms of mobile security. The SIM ensures security in that the user requires a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to open up the SIM. This form of security is effective when the user does not share the PIN with anybody (Pagani, 2005).

Another way to secure the mobile devices is ensuring proper configuration of its devices. The devices should have the right services and applications to avoid frequent upgrade, patches, and any other safeguards. These upgrades and patches can introduce virus and malwares hence infecting the device.

The devices should receive configurations according to the companies’ requirement. Moreover, in case of introduction of new security checklists and protocols, the administrators should manage their installation effectively (Jansen & Scarfone, 2008)

Many network administrators concentrate on avoiding eavesdropping and authentication. They know that security of any network is very significant to organizations. Everybody loves privacy and would work to ensure security of his devices to avoid occurrence of hacking leading to unauthorized access to the emails, use of one’s credit card to make purchases and even sending inappropriate emails to other people on his/her name.

Contrary to the wireless devices, the wired devices get their security from system administrators who are the only people allowed to access authentication of the device. On the other hand, the wireless devices depend on encryption to prevent eavesdropping.

This form of security measure uses a static key in most occurrences; this can include a key got from the static key, negotiated key, a shared static key and sometimes a dynamically- generated key. They use this type of security measure because anybody can access the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) of the wireless device (Weiss, 2002)

Due to their high demand, most wireless devices are prone to theft. Therefore, it is worth noting when storing data that the device can get lost or stolen. With this in mind, there is another approach, which can ensure security of the stored data. This is use of password. This approach generates a unique combination of character to every mobile device.

However, the system administrator should observe the clear password management policy. In this case, only the person with the password should access the data. In addition, the system administrator can destroy the stored data remotely in case there is loss or theft of the device (The Government of the Hong Kong, 2011)

Recommendations

In the modern world, increased mobile security measures should come first because there is an increase in the use of mobile wireless devices. The current measures are costly, non-universal, and ineffective. The device users should be very keen on the cost of protecting their confidential information. Most of them need a device that will not cost any further above the purchase price.

The system administrators, on the other hand are keen on the cost of the security measures. They also want an approach that is cheap but effective in protecting their users from traffic interception. The measures must be effective in providing protection and authentication (Weiss, 2002).

Use of biometrics is another technological mobile security measure that is very effective. This rapid evolving technology improves the security of numerous mobile applications. Its architectural design consists of enrollment and authentication roles. The authentication role ensures that the biometric data rightly compares with the stored template.

This will prevent an unauthorized person from accessing the data because the biometric data and the stored template have to match. The enrollment role on the other hand, enables creation of a template by the user and then acquires biometric information. This will make sure that only the administrator can access the information stored in the mobile device (Apampa, Wills & Argles, 2010).

Another important security measure that is effective is setting an idle timeout. This approach ensures that the device goes off if it is idle for a specific time. In order to open the device, the owner should feed the system with the PIN number and the configured password. In addition, it will help unauthorized person not to access any information in the device. The idle timeout has an auto lock feature that controls access to the device.

This system locks the device automatically unless opened using the correct code. It is important to note that the code is usually unique and it does not depict commonly used characters. The user should avoid writing or storing the PIN number and password in a place accessible by an unauthorized person.

It is also crucial for the mobile devices users to have a data backup. Organization’s data and information should not just be in one copy. However, it is important for the data stored in the devices to be in another secure device. This is a guarantee that no matter what happens there is data available.

This is especially important for organizations, which may require the information. In addition, the organizations ought to acquire the software that automatically deletes any information put if the password input is wrong for several times. This will ensure the device does away with the data before the unauthorized person can access it.

Conclusion

Mobile devices are very important gadgets of communication in the modern world. They include mobile phones, tablets, Personal Digit Assistants (PDAs), and laptops. These devices are portable, hence used in different places and by different people. The main use of mobile devices is not only receiving voice calls and texts messages but also stores personal information for the owner like notepad, phone book, and calendar.

Currently, many organizations store important data in the mobile devices. However, with increased demand there is increased theft and hacking of the devices. The ubiquitous nature of the wireless devices makes it more vulnerable to security attacks compared to the wired ones.

The security of mobile devices covers all data and information stored or saved in the smart phones, tablets, PDAs, and laptops. Security is very important because lack of it leads to loss of confidential information. Various approaches can ensure security of mobile devices.

These include configuration of a password, setting an idle timeout and data backup. In addition, use of SIM, PIN numbers and backing up data ensure security of mobile devices as well as data stored in them. These approaches deter unauthorized access to confidential data and information stored in the devices.

Reference List

Apampa, K. M., Wills, G., & Argles, D. (2010). User Security Issues in Summative E-Assessment Security. International Journal of Digital Society, 1, (2), 135-147.

Braunberg, A. (2013). Mobile Security Buyer’s Guide. Web.

Dwivedi, H., Clark, C. & Thiel, D. (2010). Mobile Application Security, New York: The McGraw-Hill.

Furnell, S. (2009). Mobile Security, Cambridgeshire: IT Governance Ltd.

Jansen, W., & Scarfone, K. (2008). Guidelines on Cell Phone and PDA Security.

Pagani, M. (2005). Mobile and Wireless Systems beyond 3G: Managing New Business Opportunities, Pennsylvania: Idea Group Inc (IGI).

Paulus, S., Pohlmann, N., & Reimer, H. (2005). Isse 2005 -Securing Electronic Business Processes: Highlights of the Information Security Solutions Europe 2005 Conference, New York: Springer.

The Government of the Hong Kong, (2011). . Web.

Venkataram, P., & Babu, S. (2010). Wireless & Mobile N/W Security, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Weiss, J. (2002). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Mobile Security." December 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mobile-security/.

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