I. Background

The users' aspirations for easy access to information resources has spurred the demands for the use of mobile computing devices, e.g. PDA, laptop and Smartphone) through wireless network.

Industry Story

The Mobility Effect

By 2013, Internet Data Centre (IDC) predicts the number of Internet-capable mobile devices that will go online to reach 1 billion. Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common internet access device worldwide. More and more organisations in different industries have deployed mobile devices for higher efficiency in communication and collaboration, ushering in a new era of computing and employee productivity.

The strong growth of mobile computing also poses new concerns for data security. According to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, 63% of vulnerabilities reported in 2008 affected Web applications. In 2009, the first Smartphone botnet took advantage of users' contact lists to spread itself via SMS. See the article:

See the article: http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/348611/mobility_effect/

Mobile Computing in Education

The use of mobile computing within universities is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. While staff and students can enjoy the beauty of mobile computing, drawbacks also exist at the same time.

Benefits

  1. Mobility - With access to educational information at any time and from any location with wireless coverage, teachers and students would benefit from great flexibility in communication, which improves the efficiency of faculty teaching, student learning and collaboration.
  2. Higher efficiency - Today's portable computing devices provide a variety of functionalities such as organiser, instant messaging and video streaming, which allow better organisation of teaching / learning schedule, effective individual (one-to-one) mentoring process and enhanced teaching approaches.

Drawbacks

  1. Security threats - Wireless signals are broadcasted in public area and can be easily captured by outsiders. Thefts of mobile devices not only cause economic loss but also result in potential leakage of personal information. Examples of the malware or spyware are FlexiSpy, QQsend and InfoJack.
  2. Higher security cost - The inclusion of mobile computing devices adds complexity to the existing security management process. New security devices for mobile computing are needed and the IT management needs to conduct more awareness training for IT staff and users.
Reference:
http://clifmims.com/site/documents/MobileWireless-HigherEd.pdf
http://www.nascio.org/publications/documents/NASCIO-SecurityAtTheEdge.pdf
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