The widespread use of smartphones and tablets in the home and the workplace is creating a new set of complications for the security industry. Tablets and smartphones are challenging because the range of options available to users can simultaneously create workplace security breaches but allow for home security monitoring systems. The following list highlights some of the changes caused by smartphone and tablet technology:
- Business networks are more vulnerable: In today's interconnected business world, many individuals, particularly those working in small businesses, are combining their personal and work devices into one smartphone or tablet. People, now more than ever, can take their work with them, communicate, and make important decisions while commuting, working from home, or on vacation. This increased mobility has also increased security risks for business networks. Sue Marquette Poremba at Business News Daily writes: "Without knowing who's accessing the network, or how often, it is difficult for a network administrator to make sure security policies are met...The added risk of mobile devices is that they are easily lost or stolen." The use of personal devices for sensitive work can dramatically increase the security risk for small and larger businesses.
- Apps can facilitate home security monitoring: While certain apps are making it easier for individuals to set up their own monitoring systems, serious effort is required to maintain them effectively. CBS writes that experts in the field "warn that to get all the full benefits of these options, a lot of work is required on the part of the resident." Simply setting up a smartphone with a monitoring app doesn't guarantee home safety. For the system to be effective, homeowners must "monitor when there's an alert for a motion detection going on, be able to grab [a] phone, and maybe call the police." Experts also warn that power or internet outages will negate the effectiveness of the self-monitoring option. Galen Gruman, writing for InfoWorld, is also critical of certain smartphone based security apps. He argues that because they are so centered on the use of one specific smartphone: "They don't address the common reality that [with the majority of home alarm systems] there's a central console anyone can use—anyone who's at home can hear the doorbell and deal with it, or anyone provided a code can gain access via the alarm system to the home." Being tied directly to one smartphone can limit the security system's effectiveness severely.
- Increased smartphone and tablet use requires increased security: Security applications need to evolve with the speed of mobile technology. One of the main challenges for the security industry is the speed at which mobile technology is changing. Smartphones and tablets are available through a wide variety of platforms and the security measures necessary vary for different devices. Poremba quotes James Lyne: "Microsoft operating systems have long been the primary focus area for security investment...The broader set of platforms being used requires not only more coverage from solutions, but fundamentally protecting each of these devices is quite different in implementation and policy." It is imperative that as smartphone technology improves, security measures improve along with it.
The use of mobile devices in all areas of life has created a significant need for the security industry to adapt in a variety of ways. From individuals taking control of not necessarily entirely effective home monitoring, to smartphone use at work, a void is being created that must be filled with improved security technology.
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