Conservation of Mobile Data and Usability Constraints

Conservation of Mobile Data and Usability Constraints

Rania Mokhtar (University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia) and Rashid Saeed (International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-851-4.ch003
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Abstract

An important part of ISO/IEC 27002 cyber security standard is the conservation of confidentiality that falls under its computer facility protection part which insures that the computer and its stored information can only be accessed by the authorized users. Securing mobile devices and mobile data to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of both data and security applications requires special consideration to be paid to the typical mobile environment in which a mobile computing device would be utilized. Protecting mobile devices includes multiple security technologies such as the right identification of its particular user, data encryption, physical locking devices, monitoring and tracking software, and alarms. This chapter reviews security-specific hardware and software applied to mobile computing and presents its advantages and drawbacks. Then it considers the concept of usability constraints in context of mobile computing security and introduces the seamless security method for identity proof of a particular user or device.
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Background

Most initial mobile computing devices were considered useful, but not something to be protected. This continued for a number of years until the importance of mobile data was truly realized. When mobile computing applications were developed to handle secure organizational and personal data, the real need for mobile data security was felt like never before. It’s been realized that mobile data on mobile computing devices is an extremely important aspect of modern life.

Mobile computing is realized strongly and has become very trendy because of the expediency and portability of mobile computing devices. Mobile computing devices are responsible for employees to store, process, transmit, or access organizations restricted data. The use of mobile computing devices provides flexibility and enhanced communications that allow organizations to be more productive.

In some organizations, the notebook has eclipsed the desktop as the standard computing platform in order to enable employees to take their work home with them and maximize productivity. In others, personal data assistants are the computing platform de jour. But organizations need to put the proper tools in place to ensure that their mobile devices and networks are not compromised as a result of this increase in mobility. However, mobile computing creates threats to the stored mobile data and fixed devices/data based on their ability for internet connectivity to static resources and/or upon their intranet connectivity e.g. virus spreading which lacks the internal protections afforded by organization such as firewalls. Protecting the mobile computing devices and the sensitive data they may store or have access to be critical security issue that must be addressed (security policies 4-007, 2007).

Various threads and risks intimidate the mobile computing devices in different degrees, such as:

  • Threatened by loss or thievery defined as physical hazard.

  • Illegal access risk. Accessing the device by an illegitimate user.

  • Foreign network risk. Mobile computing devices may use different networks connection in the move. Although all networks are susceptible to possibility of attack, mobile wireless networks are the most insecure because of their potencies, agility, flexibility, node independence and self organization. Wireless networks as well prove to be practically defenceless against radio frequency distortion and malicious packet-level disruption and intrusion. Therefore the mobile devices are susceptible to be attacked via/by foreign networks devoid of recognition.

  • The above risks are inherited by the mobile data storage device such as removable hard disk and USB drives.

  • Mobile computing devices are also subject to the risks that attack the fixed devices like virus, worms and application threat.

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