Yenra : Bluetooth : Bluetooth Security Issues : Bluetooth Security Flaws Driving Up Costs

Security Issues

By 2005, Bluetooth technology will cost businesses and consumers worldwide an additional $5.6 billion annually as a result of added support and usage costs necessary to use the technology, according to Gartner, Inc.

Security flaws and interoperability problems will make Bluetooth-enabled devices inadequate for use without additional spending to correct the problem areas, according to Gartner. By 2005, Gartner predicts that more than 560 million Bluetooth-enabled devices will be purchased by businesses and consumers.

According to Gartner, usability choices left to manufacturers' discretion will result in an increased cost of ownership of $70 per year for users of mobile phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and PCs.

Gartner advises that businesses must take proactive measures to protect data stored on Bluetooth devices as it travels over Bluetooth links and other networks.

Gartner analysts said businesses need to select vendors whose products have security activation and include additional safeguards, such as the use of combination passkeys and key length enforcement. IT buyers should also request security qualification reports for all Bluetooth devices and base purchasing and support decisions on them. Businesses should also educate employees regarding the proper configuration of Bluetooth-enabled devices and discourage the sharing of Bluetooth passkeys in public settings.

Problems associated with the Bluetooth software and certification will make interoperability difficult between devices made by different manufacturers. According to Gartner, more than 80 percent of Bluetooth products offered from 2002 to 2005 will be incapable of peer-to-peer networking interoperability.

Gartner advises vendors to publicly validate interoperability of whole classes of products and to revise the interoperability testing process to include profile testing and to further support this with rigid interoperability testing at higher application layers.