by Al Sacco

Data Breach Fears Prompt IT to Secure Cellular/Voice Communications

Aug 23, 20073 mins
Intrusion Detection SoftwareIT LeadershipMobile

Concerns of potential data breaches via cellular/voice communications are leading CIOs to investigate solutions to address the issue before it's too late, according to a recent survey.

An August vendor-commissioned survey found that CIOs and their IT departments are concerned with potential exposure of sensitive company information via corporate voice communications, and they’re increasingly seeking out solutions to address the issue.

“The ubiquity of mobile phones and smartphones, coupled with the rise in fraud, privacy concerns, corporate espionage and terrorism, has triggered a heightened awareness and demand for secure voice communications,” said Emil Sturniolo, KoolSpan chief scientist and principal author of the 2007 Mobile Trust Survey report.

image of cell phones

KoolSpan, a mobile security solutions vendor, commissioned Zoomerang, a division of market research firm MarketTools, to conduct the survey of 219 IT professionals with security, computer/IT management and systems/networking titles. One-third of respondents came from large enterprises, or businesses with 5,000 or more employees; 15 percent came from midsize firms, or organizations with between 1,000 and 5,000 staffers; and small businesses, or enterprises with fewer than 1,000 workers, made up 42 percent of the survey base. The remaining 10 percent came from the government sector or selected the “other” survey option.

The most notable survey findings include the fact that 44 percent of respondents were aware of security compromises to voice communications on mobile/cellular networks—their own or otherwise—but only 8 percent said they already had some form of secure voice solution deployed. Fifty-three percent of survey participants said they were aware of employees traveling to business destinations considered to be “untrusted.”

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Though less than 10 percent of the surveyed IT professionals said they already had solutions deployed to help protect corporate voice communications, 72 percent said they would consider a secure voice solution if it were easy to install and maintain and were affordable.

In securing cellular/mobile communications, “the CIO’s challenge will relate less to the deployment of [a solution] directly, but relate more to the issues surrounding enterprise management of mobile devices. This is a trend already underway and is made more complicated by the ‘bring-your-own-device-to-work’ model currently in place at many enterprises,” Sturniolo said. “KoolSpan has designed solutions to address this issue, creating a product which can migrate from device to device as users upgrade on regular wireless carrier contract cycles.”

KoolSpan’s secure voice solution is called TrustChip Voice, and though the company requested that specific pricing details remain unpublished, it offers two pricing models: a monthly subscription plan and a one-time payment. More information can be found on KoolSpan’s website.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Seventy-one percent of respondents said employees with enterprise-issued mobile phones discuss sensitive business topics on those phones.

  • Sixty-six percent of all respondents said they have staffers who use smartphones or PDAs.

  • Fifty-seven percent of IT professionals surveyed said they’d consider a secure voice option if one is available the next time they purchase a mobile phone.