updated 12:10 pm EDT, Tue July 24, 2007
iPods: security threat?
iPods are counted among security threats in a new corporate survey about portable storage. Credant Technologies says that in a private poll of 323 managers and executives across different fields, 67 percent said that iPods were a threat, while 10 percent said they were the greatest threat. Conversely, 78 percent said that USB flash drives were the biggest issue. The alleged danger of iPods is, first, their storage capacity: while USB keys tend to be capped at 16 to 32GB, iPods can hold as much as 80GB, allowing vast amounts of data to be taken, whether maliciously or not.
The other problem is ubiquity, since even 61 percent of the survey group said it used iPods when at work or travelling. The technology is increasingly popular with 18- to 30-year-olds, who reputedly see the device as just another audio player; this view is said to be mirrored with the aforementioned managers and executives, only 6 percent of whom have encrypted protection for iPod data. Likewise, a full 40 percent say they have no policy whatsoever regarding iPods.
The results of the poll should be considered skeptically, however. Credant sells a program called Mobile Guardian, specifically aimed at securing mobile data.