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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Who benefits most from the iPhone Ãâ" Industry or hackers?

31 August, 2007
The European iPhone launch could turn out to be either a boon for industry or a data security nightmare.
The iPhone will soon be launched in Europe and analysts from Butler Group are warning that the functionality of the device is too broad in scope to prevent its widespread adoption for commercial useâ€. And lets face it, why would we want to prevent its commercial use? Well, according to Butler Group, one reason might be the poor levels of management of mobile devices that currently exist and which therefore leave open a wide security hole in the shape of stolen or hacked iPhones.

The key statement from the Butler report is "With remote working becoming more popular, there will be increasing pressure on the IT department to integrate a growing number of different mobile devices with the existing infrastructure". This pressure is already being felt, particularly with so many high profile cases of data loss from mobile devices during the summer. So the answer is clearly not to prevent the iPhone from being used but to adopt a way of effectively including them in the organisation's toolset of mobile information devices in a secure way. This takes policy and technology and its in the latter area where the biggest problem lies.

Despite having been already available on the US market for some time, the iPhone is still somewhat vulnerable and at the rate things are going, according to the Wabisabilabi hack exchange, the iPhone will soon hold the honour of being the most hacked mobile device in history, something which WSLabi believes its model of using hackers to prevent hacking can help to solve.

The news that Apple has just hired a teenage hacker to do just this after successfully unlocking the unlockable iPhone only serves as motivation to other hackers to go after the iPhone with everything they've got in the hope of receiving similar awards.

This is where the policy part of the equation comes in. For companies that feel the functionality outweighs the potential risks, the need for control, access rights and encryption becomes even stronger.
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