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Your Cell Phone May be Less Secure Than You Think

  
  
  
iStock 000017058548XSmallWith an increasing number of users bring their own devices to work, it's important to make sure that these devices have security and that means at a minimum having a security code set to prevent easy access to any content on the phone.

How many stories have you heard about people leaving their cell phones in cabs and restaurants and everywhere really? Too many I'm sure and if the cell phone has corporate content on it, and not so much as security code to protect it, it could leave your company content vulnerable to prying eyes.

But how safe is it even with a security code? 

It turns out that according to a recent ZDNet article, it's amazingly easy for law enforcement to get at the code with special software in a matter of minutes. According to demonstration YouTube video on the site (which Forbes reported had been taken down after the onslaught of publicity), it takes all of two minutes to connect to an iPhone and grab the 4-digit password.

In a Reddit forum linking to the Forbes article, one commenter suggested you could find similar software widely available for around $25. How do you feel about your company security now?

If you're like me, you were probably taken aback when you realized how easy it is to bypass the phone's basic security measure, although I suppose I shouldn't be. If hackers can get past government and private sector network security with relative ease, a cell phone should be easy -- and it turns out, it is.

But I'm wondering where that leaves us. We have to find a way to secure our phones, which don't have only professional content on there, but personal as well. And there's an awful lot you can learn about a person if you get ahold of their cell phone, even if there isn't a confidential company report on there.

Perhaps there are pictures of your children, your address book, your location information if you know how to get it off (again, pretty easy according to reports).

So what you do? There are some security packages out there like the one from AmTelNet. On another security level, you can encrypt calls and be safe from prying ears or man-in-the-middle attacks where someone intercepts the call and pretends to be someone else. All this is possible using technology from the German firm Secusmart, but while that would protect your phone from prying ears, it would do little to help you protect the contents of the phone once somebody got in.

I'm not sure what the answer is here, and perhaps there is technology out there I simply don't know about. If you have some ideas, I welcome you to leave a comment because I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds this capability disconcerting and is hoping that there are ways to protect your smart phone beyond simply using a 4-digit code that can be easily broken.
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