smartphonesecurityAt least one law firm has stopped using iPhones because of potential security risks.

A data forensics expert has identified two potential security risks, but both of them require the bad guy to have physical control over the iPhone. If you never lose control of your phone, then no problem.

But if you leave your phone in a cab, at a coffee shop, then what? Apparently the remote wipe feature is not as great as it seems. Your iPhone must be connected to the cellular network for it to be wiped. A clever thief can quickly disable the cellular function and go to town.

Lastly, the iPhone essentially takes screenshots of your data—enabling the neat shrinking and disappearing effect on the phone. If your device has been captured and someone has hacked your phone they can probably find whatever they want—screenshots are fairly redundant at that point—but still a security concern nonetheless.

The risks are legitimate. An iPhone is much easier to lose than an old school briefcase containing client files. Even worse, an iPhone is capable of holding much more data than a briefcase. The iPhone is also much more fun to play around with . . . and easier to misplace.

Although it seems likely other smartphones are susceptible to similar security risks, make sure you are willing to accept the consequences of a lost smartphone before you place client data on it.

Law Firm Abandons iPhone After Experts Warn of Security Issues | ABA Journal

(photo: Johnny Grim)


  1. Greg Gardner says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but can’t a “really clever thief” do the same thing to a BlackBerry? Turn off all data networks and enjoy the email? I fail to see how iPhones are that much less secure than a BlackBerry…

  2. Greg,

    That’s not ignorant at all – see the last paragraph of my post. I have heard that BlackBerry makes more of an effort to use secure email servers, but that I doubt that would be a barrier to a skilled hacker.

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