How Do You Provide Security for Mobile Computing? Commit to “End Point Security”

Providing for the security of your organization’s mission critical information assets is essential in today’s asymmetric threat environment. You must now view the challenge from the vantage point of your network’s reach.

Your exposure would largely be confined to one device, for example, if your mission critical assets are contained on a single computer. However, if you or your employees access information from wireless or mobile devices (i.e. laptops, smart phones or tablets) your network’s exposure could be infinite. The capability of being able to provide access to critical information is increasingly necessary for organizations to remain competitive. You should have at least considered “End Point Security” if you are sending or accessing information by means of portable computing devices.

Smart phones, lap tops and tablet computers have literally put your information assets in the street. The capabilities of mobile software and the hardware platforms are incredible. The perimeter of your network has been pushed out further than you may realize. Very little information is inaccessible to workers who are “on the road” if just simple access is provided. Your security plan, unless it includes the idea of “mobile” security best practices, is in serious need of updating.

You are either providing for end point security for your mobile computing hardware and software or you aren’t. If you are requiring, for example, that your employees enable a password policy on their mobile devices you are at least beginning to address end point security issues. But have you done enough? You should be confident in your answer or you have more work to do.

Consider the following questions. Does your organization have a mobile computing security policy? Have your employees received training related to the policy? Have you asked your employees to “sign off” on an acknowledgment of their responsibilities to provide mobile security?

But here is more for you to consider. Each new generation of computing devices brings more power to the employee who is accessing information remotely. The need for attention to provide end point security should be clear. So what should be considered with regards to providing security for remote access?

1.) Your organization should, as previously mentioned, have a security policy related to mobile computing.

2.) Employees who remotely access your information assets should be trained in security best practices for mobile computing.

3.) Attention should be given to mobile authentication. Installing and using the latest protocols are (i.e. 802.1X) recommended.

4.) Sensitive information should be encrypted with at least WPA2 encryption.

5.) Using a Virtual Private Network, or (VPN), should be considered.

6.) Server-side operating system security policies should be established.

7.) Whether to permit access by employee owned devices should be considered.

8.) The physical and software configuration on the mobile devices must be addressed.

9.) All software updates and security patches on the mobile computers should be routinely updated. Configure them to automatically do so if possible.

10.) Mobile tools should be marked and identified in the event of loss or theft.

11.) Set time outs so that mobile electronic computers shut down when sitting idle.

12.) Consider using a privacy screen to block the view of shoulder surfers.

13.) Consider using an automated location service to help you find a device that has been misplaced.

14.) Employees should be prohibited from “jail breaking” or changing a device’s secured setting.

15.) Policies should exist as to what information can be accessed and stored on portable devices.

16.) Turn off any BlueTooth devices when they aren’t being used.

17.) Consider purchasing mobile devices without a peripheral storage capability.

Summary:

Mobile computing is a reality. Failing to recognize vulnerabilities and address solutions may be considered negligent. The loss of mission critical information or the private information of customers could have disastrous results for an organization. Establish and implement security policies. Make sure everyone in your organization is educated on how to implement mobile security policies.

Mobile Computer Cart – Providing Flexibility and Efficiency at Its Best

Using a mobile computer cart in your workplace is definitely warranted if you want to have the mobility of a laptop and the reliability of a desktop computer. More than just a simple computer desk, this type of table features the kind of mobility for your desktop workstation. While you may find it hard to move a regular size computer table around the area of your workplace, this mobile cart allows you to do so with a great degree of ease and convenience.

This mobile computer stand is increasingly getting popular in workplaces where there is a need to bring the desktop computer from one place to the next. Some examples of these workplaces are warehouses, factories, and large office areas. Although a laptop computer is extremely mobile and can serve the same purpose, it does not have the power and reliability of a desktop computer.

Without a doubt you are also aware that reliability plays a big factor in critical business or manufacturing operations. In this situation, you must make sure that the machine you use has the capacity of carrying out various tasks in a timely manner. Using a desktop computer that has all the necessary hardware and software designed to carry out all these tasks is definitely needed. Mounting this powerful workstation on a mobile computer cart will allow you to bring it anywhere within your workplace.

This ability to provide mobility function to your desktop computer has contributed to the popularity of this mobile table. In fact at present, the market is teeming with different models of this particular type of computer table. There are models that feature a computer-only configuration, while other models allow you to carry a printer, as well as other small things with you.

The best aspect about this extremely functional table is that it is also designed to carry laptop computers. While it is true that a laptop computer is already mobile, you may need a flat space somewhere to set it down and work on it. Having your laptop computer on this mobile desk will spare you the trouble of having to look for a suitable place to set your laptop down. Since this table also features an ergonomic design, you will feel very much relaxed while using it.

Another great thing about the mobile computer cart is that its height can be adjusted to a level that would be comfortable for you. Whether you want to work on your computer standing up or sitting down, this table will always adapt to your preference. This feature makes it also perfect for home use, particularly in areas where the space is limited. With the space saving characteristic and mobility feature of this mobile desk, it is surely a welcome addition to the office or home.

Mobile Computing and Its Effectiveness

Mobile computing has become a crucial technology in people’s lives. It provides people with various options of using technological devices regardless of their location. Mobile computing is the ability to utilize a computing device even when it is in mobile or even changing location. In this process, the aspect of portability is present. It has a range of devices from notebook computers to digital assistants like iPhone and blackberry to typical cell phones. This has made mobile computing become an indispensable way of life. Mobile notebooks and laptops can use only two types of wireless connection. The first one is WiFi which uses radio waves to transmit a signal from a wireless rooter to an immediate area. If not encrypted, anyone can have access on it. This connection is used for creating “hotspots” in public places. This means that one has to locate a hotspot. He or she should also stay within the range of a connection. The second alternative is to use a cellular broadband which uses modem or Air Card for internet connection. For this service, one has to remain stationery as the signal remains strong anywhere there is cellular service.

Another service linked with mobile computing is cloud computing, which is the ability to use website services from portable computers. Portable computing also grants access to a firm’s virtual private network (VPN) by tunneling through the internet. It makes life easy and also makes work to be manageable. There is an increase in productivity especially in developed countries where there is high use of technology. This clearly shows that mobile computing has so many positive effects to the lives of people. However, it also has its own limitations.

Advantages of mobile computing

1) Portability- devices used in mobile computing are portable thus making it easy to complete tasks. Portability means that they can be moved from a place to another. This means that one has the freedom to work from any place he or she wishes to be. This can be regarded as flexibility of location.

2) Increase in production- the returns are high because one has the freedom to work in a fixed place. A person is also in a position to multitask thus increasing productivity. It also, minimizes time wastage especially where one has to report to an office on a daily basis.

3) Marketing of products and services made easy- this is evident because one can market his or her products and online from anywhere as far as there is fast internet connection.

4) Communication made easy- calls making, text messages and emails can be sent or received anywhere using the mobile devices.

Disadvantages of Mobile Computing

1) Insufficient bandwidth- when using this process, internet connection is slower compared to when one uses a direct cable connection. There are cheap technologies available like EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates GSM Evolution), GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access)3G which are fast but can only be accessed within a certain range.

2) Power Usage- This affects this process of mobile computing because it relies on battery power when power connection or portable generator is not present. This means that one has to buy an expensive battery which can keep power for a long time thus increasing consumption.

3) Security standards- When a person is working in a mobile basis, he or she depends on public networks thus use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) is necessary. It is dangerous if the VPN is not carefully used because one can attack it through a massive figure of networks interconnected through the line.

4) Health problems- those people who have a tendency of using mobile gadgets when driving has a high risk of causing accidents due to divided attention. Mobile phones are also likely to get in the way of sensitive medical devices. There are some beliefs that mobile phones cause health hazards.

5) Transmission interferences- In most cases, there are so many interferences involved in mobile computing. These interferences include terrain, weather, range of the nearest signal point and others. They can interfere with the passage of signal. Transmission of signals in some buildings, tunnels and rural areas is often slow.

6) Human Interface with Devices- some components of the devices used is not user friendly. For example, some keyboards and screens tend to be small, and this makes it hard to use them. In addition, some techniques like handwriting and speech recognition require thorough training

Mobile computing is a very vital technology in our lives. But, before settling on it, a person should analyze its advantages and disadvantages carefully and evaluate its appropriateness in ones life.

Mobile Computing Essentials

Mobile computing is the ability to do computing tasks in some or all possible locations. Here, I’ll be listing (in my opinion are) the top 4 requirements for mobile computing and my suggestions/opinions on those requirements.

There are other requirements for mobile computing, and you can check them at Wikipedia.

Portability

It’s common sense: if your computers or mobile devices are too heavy to carry around they are useless for mobile computing. Gone are the days of lugging around heavy laptops the size of attache cases. A good example of a very portable computing device is the Apple MacBook Air: It’s small and thin enough to put in an envelope. Also good examples are the humble netbooks. These small, almost pocket sized computers are small and light enough that you can almost put them inside your coat pockets or purses. They offer relatively good processing power for the basic computing needs, up to 15 hours of battery life (depending on use) and are cheaper than most full size notebooks. Since Asus came out with the original Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC), the EEEPC, almost all computer companies have created their own netbook line.

Now, with the release of the Apple iPad tablet, Tablet Computing have been put in spotlight again. Major computer brands are following with Samsung releasing the Galaxy Tab and HP developing and hopefully finally releasing the Slate, and Asus announcing the EeePads, that more than out features and out powers the iPad.

Battery Life

Even if you have the fastest and lightest computing devices (laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) but you don’t have enough power to support them, they are practically useless for mobile computing. A couple of hours of power is the current standard for most laptops. If your laptop’s battery last for three hours that’s already above average.

With netbooks, three hours is just the average. Because of the development of low power consuming processors and LED displays, and also the development of higher capacity, compact lithium ion/ polymer battery packs, we have netbooks that can stay powered for more than 8 hours. Example of such laptops are the next generation Acer Aspire One 533, ASUS Eee PC 1015,MSI U160, HP Mini 210 Series. Imagine this scenario: You fully charge your netbook before you start the day and then use it unplugged for the whole day. Now that’s you call “truly mobile computing”. With smartphones, especially those that utilizes a lot of 3G connectivity, a full day of operation is adorable: anything less is just normal.

Internet Connectivity

Staying connected to the Internet is one of the basic requirements for mobile computing. Unless you don’t have any use for the Internet, your mobile computing device should at least have a built-in wireless network adapter, also known as wi-fi card. Another essential device for staying connected with your netbook or laptops is a mobile broadband device like the 3G USB modems, pcmcia cards, and built-in 3G modems in several netbooks and laptops. The latest smartphones take full advantage of 3G networks: they can work outside wi-fi hotspots. The only downside to that is the rapid loss of battery life.

Durability

Mobile computing has the most demanding requirements for devices especially when it comes to durability. Because mobile computing is done anywhere and everywhere, the devices you use should be able to survive the most number of scenarios. And when we talk about durability in mobile computing, nothing beats the Panasonic ToughBook. This line of laptops from Panasonic were designed to handle the most demanding computing environments. Check out the videos in Youtube.

Tips

Before buying any mobile computing device, make sure you research well about the product. The best way to gauge if the device meets your needs and wants is to try the actual device. If you can try the device for a day, the better.

Always buy mobile computing devices with at least one year warranty. That gives you a small sense of security when your device fails within the first year.

When it comes to durability, most mobile computing devices like laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and tablets have operational guidelines that you should follow. If you use these devices outside their perscribe conditions, you risk voiding the warranty. Examples are using the device under the rain, vibrating platforms, sand-prone and water-prone places like the beach, and other uncommon locations.

Mobile Computing

Mobile computing refers to the use of any kind of computer in a moving environment. The motion may be of the device itself, as in laptops, palmtops, wearable computers, and mobile phones; or it may refer to the dynamics of the computing process, as in digital cameras, podcasters and MP3 players. Mobile computing devices generally use wireless technologies such as LAN, Wi-Fi, GPRS and the more recently introduced MAN.

Mobile computing can be broadly classified into two categories – portable computing and mobility computing. Portable computing actually refers to wired communication. Portable devices themselves are movable, but in order to access them one needs to connect them to a network port. That means, portable computing devices can be carried to wherever there is a network port available. Mobility computing is also called simply mobile computing nowadays. This is true wireless communication. Not only are the devices movable, but they can also be accessed from almost anywhere. Today, portable computing is almost on the verge of extinction; mobile computing has made its foray into almost every aspect of human life.

The first usage of mobile computing devices was perhaps in vehicles. Speedometers were among the first devices to get computerized. Almost every modern vehicle has several mobile computing devices under its dashboard. Cell phones are another rampant proliferation of mobile computing today. Every single cell phone is a computer in its own right. With the advent of wireless technologies, it is also possible to access the Internet through cell phones. Blue tooth has brought cell phone users closer than ever before and has facilitated data transfer within a stipulated area. Another brilliant advancement in the field of wireless technologies is the Metropolitan Area Network, or MAN, which will allow vehicles and cell phones to remain in communication with each other forming a network probably much vaster than the internet.

Today, mobile computing is a boon to people on the move. It can be used for checking mails while in transit and even carry out transactions and businesses. Services like SMS (Short Messaging Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) are targeted towards the younger generation to remain in contact with their colleagues and friends. During sports events, mobile networks keep users informed of the goings-on.

However, critics are concerned with the intrusion of privacy that mobile computing creates. Several members of the younger generation are turning into ‘gizmo freaks’ and becoming almost addicted to their mobile computing devices like watches and cell phones. Some of these devices which work on infrared technologies can also pose potential health risks.

Yet, mobile computing has become an indispensable extension of technology today. It is definitely here to stay.