Combating Mobile Device Theft

Computer security old school

Computer security old school
(Photo credit: sridgway)

For a large number of businesses and government agencies, a mobile device such as a smartphone and tablet computer have become a primary method of two-way communication between field employees and upper management. ABI Research, a U.K. technology market intelligence company, predicts that there will be 1.4 billion active smartphones and 268 million tablet computers worldwide by the end of 2013.

A mobile device is capable of storing hefty amounts of business information, especially when field employees use them for mobile data collection tasks such as surveys and report creation and normal business tasks such as sending and receiving e-mail or taking photos. Consequently, all of that information is at risk when thieves steal a mobile device and resells it overseas for a profit.

To prevent thieves from accessing this valuable and confidential information, mobile device manufacturers developed a number of solutions to protect the information stored on smartphones and tablet computers. Hard-to-decipher passwords and personal identification numbers are available to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the information stored on mobile devices.

Software developers also created customized software capable of remotely locking a device, geo-tracking its location and wiping the information from smartphones and tablet computers. Wireless providers and retail businesses routinely offer insurance plans that enable users to easily replace lost or stolen smartphones and tablets.

In November 2013, CTIA-The Wireless Association’s President and CEO Steve Largent added to the field of mobile device protection by announcing the creation of a multi-carrier database for U.S. LTE smartphones. The database will work in conjunction with the databases created by carriers in other countries.

These international databases would blacklist missing smartphones and prevent them from being reactivated by unauthorized users. In time, the market for stolen smartphones would be adversely affected and less profitable for thieves.

With a growing number of employees using tablet computers to perform their work in the field, far away from a central office, it seems feasible that a similar international database for stolen tablet computers may be created in the future. Although tablet computer users have different ways to locate a stolen computer and erase its data, an international database could prove useful in minimizing the market for stolen tablet computers and helping users to recover their tablet computers when possible.

COMMANDmobile® has its own built-in security measures to protect valuable enterprise data from being compromised if a mobile device is lost or stolen. For more information, ask for a demo account or contact us.

Related links

Samsung’s Antitheft Kill Switch For Mobile Devices Is DOA

‘Blacklisting’ To Curb Mobile Phone Theft

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About DeAnna Davidson

DeAnna Davidson is a proven technologist and business leader who is passionate about the power of mobile computing to revolutionize a business or industry, and dedicated to helping organizations use mobile, wireless, and web technologies to their advantage.

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