CFC Solutions says that employees are increasingly using these mobile computing devices to access work related information but that some represent risks to important data.
Policies should be adopted so that company IT experts can decide which devices are permitted for company use and whether any security software should be installed on them.
Neville Briggs, managing director at CFC Solutions, said: “The latest smart phones and tablet devices can be really useful when it comes to increasing employee productivity. They add greatly to the flexibility of the whole concept of the company-car based mobile office.
“However, many of the devices currently being used are bought, owned and operated by the employee and fall outside of any employer security measures. This can present a risk – for example, some smart phone software gathers all kinds of information about the user and this could potentially be misused.”
Briggs added that as tablet devices and smart phones became ever more popular, there would inevitably be a greater number of viruses and spyware written that could potentially cause problems.
He said: “Most of these devices have only been around for a relatively short time and there are few pieces of malicious software around. However, the numbers are rising and will continue to do so.
“It would be surprising if smart phone spyware didn’t appear at some point in the near future that could, for example, learn the login details for the user’s work e-mail account and then access the mailbox easily.
“Software that accesses the GPS function in smart phones and tablets could even tell a third party the current location of an employee and track their movements. There are all kinds of worrying possibilities.
“Companies should look now to adopt policies that control use of these devices. Each one is different and needs different rules but to ignore the issue is to take a considerable security risk.”