I have had a number of discussions over the past six months with advisors who are leveraging the power of the smart phone to extend their reach beyond the office and computer. While this arena continues to evolve on the application, sync and mobile browser front - the achilles heel of mobility remains security.
A good portion of the conversation discussed applications key to advisor operations - i.e. CRM, financial planning, reporting and even custodial tools - are slowly expanding to the mobile platform. The providers making these progressive moves are keeping security in mind - thinking through how they handle the presentation and storage of personally identifiable information on the local handheld versus keeping the data securely in their data centers. However, it was also unanimously agreed to - by panel and attendees - that overall handheld security is lacking for small business in contrast to the enterprise.
On the enterprise level amid larger companies - solutions both hardware and software based can be put in place to secure and even encrypt a workforce's mobile phones. At the small and mid-size business level there are no clear solutions that preserve usability while making implementation easy. I.e. for most of us at the small business level - we may have a dozen or less employees with phones from multiple carriers we need to protect.
Based on the massive success of the iPhone and the trickle down effect of Blackberry phones beyond the enterprise - the solutions are sure to come - in the meantime there are only some basic tactics one can take to protect the business data you may sync and carry on smart phones.
There will very likely be some personal use solutions coming in 2010 that could offer user friendliness and usable security - feel free to toss out your own practices or any applications you have found that contribute to mobile security.