As technology gadgets get ever smaller and more pervasive, there’s never been a better time to increase your focus on mobile security training. Users of Google Glass could discover their digital risks the hard way.
The world is gaga over Google Glass, the head-mounted electronic interface that promises to pack everything your computer can do (and more) into a wearable display. But despite all of the excitement surrounding Glass, it appears to be lacking in security. The trial version of the product is currently only available to relatively few developers, but some have already discovered an easy way to bypass the built-in operating system.
The device might be new, but the operating system it uses is old. In fact, it’s the same OS used in some Android phones. It reportedly took hacking specialist Jay Freeman a mere couple of hours to “jailbreak” Glass. As with phones and other devices, once the initial settings have been bypassed, the device can be configured in ways contrary to the original design. Another user was similarly able to “root” the system (take it over at the most basic level) by manipulating its “debug mode.”
It’s still too early to say for sure what this will mean in the long run, as the public is not likely to see Google Glass for some time. But it does seem to point towards one of the pillars of mobile security training: know thy device. The more familiar users are with the limitations of a product’s hardware or software, the better equipped they will be to take precautions and keep hackers away from their private information. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Never trust a new gadget to protect your secure information until it has a proven track record.
- Reduce the amount of valuable data you send through the ether, regardless of device. Any transmission carries with it a certain amount of risk.
- For highly important files, lock it or leave it. Encryption could be the precaution that saves your business. It also helps to remove all identifying information from your device that isn’t absolutely necessary.
- Connect only to trusted networks. Your average free WiFi hotspot is about as safe as the free offers you receive in your email or on Facebook. Use a secure WiFi connection or implement tethering between your smartphone and device.
Mobile security training is no longer optional. If you are going to utilize the tools of modern commerce, make sure your people know how to operate them safely. Google Glass is no exception.
John Sileo is a mobile security training expert and data security speaker. His clients included the Department of Defense, Visa, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.