Wireless technology is an industry that is growing exponentially. For every new and existing product, there is a want/need and expectation that the product will someday be available to use wirelessly. The only obstacle is the time it takes to advance the technology to become wireless.
This wireless movement has been fueled by the rise and advancement of the cellular phone. Before cellular phones were common in personal and business use, a person had to be in a specific place at the time a call was placed to receive the phone call or message. Cellular phones gave the user to the ability to make and receive calls at any location. The first truly portable cellular phone was sold by Motorola in 1983, costed $3,900, was bulky, and could only place and receive basic phone calls (marwalla, 2010). This was impractical for most consumers and businesses at the time. However, innovation and advances in technology allowed manufacturers to continuously improve all aspects of the cell phone. Cell phones became “smarter”, packing more features into a smaller space and becoming increasingly affordable. The correlating evolution of broadband wireless internet and cellular data network have also attributed to the advancement.
Today, cellular phones have a graphical user interface, touchscreens, high-speed data connections, and applications that help the user achieve almost any task (Smith, 2015). Smartphones are becoming more commonly known as “mobile devices”. This is due to the fact that being a phone is now only a small part of the total functionality of the device (The History And Evolution Of Cell Phones, n.d.).
The effects of the evolution of the cellular phone have echoed throughout the entire technology industry, for personal and business use alike. Individual consumers utilize mobile devices to wirelessly access every aspect of their life. They can access their email, bank accounts, pictures, home security networks, etc. If a piece of their life is connected to a data network, it can be accessed on a mobile device. Businesses utilize mobile devices in the same way as personal users and much more. Business applications for mobile devices are almost limitless. Mobile devices use for business are also often connected to an intranet, allowing the device access to secured information. Mobile devices have become crucial in business to the point that 96% of small businesses use mobile technology to operate (Growing Importance of Mobile Devices in Business , 2014).
Wireless technology makes everyday life more productive, efficient, and enjoyable. However, there is a cost for all of these benefits. Wireless technology is constantly evolving and has ever-changing capabilities that are accompanied by vulnerabilities. How can organizations keep their information systems secure while using wireless technology to remain efficient and up to speed with their competition?
Vulnerabilities associated with wireless technology make mobile devices an attractive target for cyber-attackers. An attack against a mobile device can compromise a person’s life or an entire business’s network (Ruggiero & Foote). Wireless technology has an inherent risk associated with its lack of a hard-wired connection, information that was once on a closed network is now being sent over the air. This increases the risk of security breaches. Wireless technology attacks are identified by two classifications. Class 2 attackers launch intrusions from inside the wireless network (insiders). Class 4 attackers use wireless devices to attack from outside the network (Bejtlich, 2004).
The wide range of methods to connect devices wirelessly is also an issue that an organization must explore. Wireless and mobile devices can connect to each other and the internet many ways, including a subscribed wireless network (Sprint, AT&T etc.), Bluetooth, or a wireless area network. Each method has its applications along with its own strengths and weaknesses.
The following research paper will analyze current wireless technologies and explore their relevance, strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. It will also discuss potential future technologies that have been introduced or conceptualized, but not yet prevalent in society. Limitations of the research paper include limited availability of information on new technologies and vulnerabilities that has not yet been discovered in existing technologies.
Anjarwalla, T. (2010, July 09). Inventor of cell phone: We knew someday everybody would have one. Retrieved from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/07/09/cooper.cell.phone.inventor/
Bejtlich, R. (2004). The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection. Boston: Addison-Wesley Professional.
Growing Importance of Mobile Devices in Business . (2014, October 10). Retrieved from CPC Strategy: http://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog/2014/10/mobile-devices-infographic/
Ruggiero, P., & Foote, J. (n.d.). Cyber Threats to Mobile Phones. US CERT. Retrieved from https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/cyber_threats-to_mobile_phones.pdf
Smith, A. (2015, April 1). U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/
The History And Evolution Of Cell Phones. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Art Institutes: https://www.artinstitutes.edu/blog/the-history-and-evolution-of-cell-phones