This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS – Friday 26th April 2013

On the beat – BYOD lawsuit to change commercial habits?
Lack of clear policy and forward-thinking governance for mobile devices will be the highlight of a court case reaching Chicago shortly. The case relates to 200 police officers filing a claim for overtime after being pressurised into answering work-related calls on department issued Blackberries. This should be of interest to MDM providers and all businesses. The flexibility of BYOD and the easy approach thus far to consumer technology at work, is increasingly a topic that needs addressing by business. Thoughts of cost savings and a casual approach to mobile device management may end up having a very costly sting in the tail which businesses must start to address, and soon.

Once more unto the breach
Verizon’s recent Data Breach Report identified hacking as the cause in 52% of breaches in 2012. 80% of these came from authentication-based attacks. Using the same password on different accounts is all too common, but getting people to change their habits has proven difficult and organisations are too slow to roll out more complex barriers to security breaches. Two-factor authentication is a good start (where a phone device delivers a unique password to accompany the primary access on a computer) and is available on Microsoft accounts. Sadly it seems that only large scale attacks felt personally are currently getting any habits changed. How important is your information to you and what extra measures are you taking to keep it secure?

Head technology
No longer limited to just science fiction, Samsung and other researchers at the University of Texas are creating the technology to control tablets with just your brain. Researchers are using an EEG cap to monitor brain waves which lets testers launch Apps, choose music and basic menu control by thinking of its name. The process sounds similar to how voice activation tasks are currently handled. However instead of saying the phrase aloud – you think it. So far the system is said to have an accuracy rate between 80 to 95% and is still quite slow to use. However, as tablets and other devices become more accessible, the benefits particularly to disabled users will be substantial once fully developed.

No longer taking the scenic route
Smartphone technology “Fit4KidsCare” has been used to great effect at the Miami Children’s hospital in the States. This has centred on using triangulated Wi-Fi signals (vs satellite GPS) to bounce off WiFi access points situated around the hospital. It has enabled patients and their families to navigate quickly to their destinations, even whilst using lifts. With delays in patients reaching their hospital appointments and unfamiliarity with hospital environments, it is an interesting development that could have useful ramifications for the healthcare industry in the UK.