Tablet security

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I’ve written here previously about the increasing need for attention in the area of securing mobile phones. It has taken some time but it seems we have reached a place where most everyone realizes that if they want to connect a desktop or laptop to the Internet that they also need to take precautions against malware, spyware and so on, but we aren’t there yet when it comes to intuitively understanding the risks associated with mobile devices.

According to at least one estimate there are now more than 1 billion (with a “b”) smartphones in use around the world and we are on pace to reach a point where there are more of them (smartphones = 10 billion) than us (people = 7.3 billion) by 2016.

And what are all these smartphones but tiny, portable computers with wireless connections? Meaning, they can be hacked just like traditional PCs can. In fact, going mobile increases the risk by adding in additional variables since these devices are more easily lost and stolen.

Slowly the level of awareness is coming around to the point where eventually everyone will realize that smartphones need security just like laptops and desktops do.

But what about tablets? Same song, next verse. After all, what is an Android tablet other than a larger version of an Android phone that can’t make cell calls, and what is an Android phone other than a PC that can?

In other words, if it computes it can be hacked and if it can be hacked you probably ought to think about protecting it. Tablets are not exempt from security risks any more than smartphones or laptops are.

In today’s Raleigh News & Observer “Stump the Geeks” column, Tyler Dukes asked me to comment on the need for tablet security. You can see my comments along with some interesting study results from NC State University (my alma mater) in this area.

Ignorance may be bliss but when it comes to security it also leads to disaster so I’d say a little less bliss is better in this case…

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