IT managers must plan for wireless security threat

According to Meta Group, as mobile computing platforms become the norm in organisations, IT managers must plan for the wireless security threat.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  March 16, 2003

IT managers must learn to cope with the security threats posed by the increase in wireless computing platforms. According to research body, Meta Group, emerging technologies, such as Intel’s Centrino notebook architecture will drive the demand for mobile computing options within the corporate enterprise.

By 2005, Meta predicts that 95% of new corporate notebooks will have built in wireless capabilities.

“Most corporate laptops will move toward the Centrino platform during the next year,” says Steve Kleynhans, vice president and end-user platform specialist, Infrastructure Strategies at Meta Group.

“In addition, teleworking and other forms of mobile computing will become increasingly common and will segue into business advances over the next five years, affecting PDAs, phones, lifestyle devices, ADSL and wireless networks, and other business applications everything from mail and calendar synchronisation to links in back-end business systems. These trends will have a large impact on an organisation's security because mobility poses unique concerns and challenges,” he adds.

With as many as 95% of new notebooks packing wireless capabilities, enterprises must ‘aggressively plan’ for the introduction of wireless machines into the corporate network.

IT managers must establish comprehensive policies and processes to mitigate security risks, increased infrastructure complexity, and cost. Establishing best practices to create an end-user-friendly environment will be essential to maintaining the benefits of this increased mobility.

“We estimate only one-third of large enterprises have a comprehensive policy, clearly documenting the approach to wireless adoption,” says Chris Kozup, senior research analyst, Infrastructure Strategies at Meta Group.

“The Intel Centrino announcement highlights the criticality of protecting corporate resources against the high security risks associated with broad-scale introduction of Wi-Fi into the enterprise,” he adds.

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