Emerging security trends on secure mobile computing in an automated university environment
Ananda, Daniel Otanga
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Universities are shifting from partially computerized to fully automated environments and technology is equally shifting from point to point to broadcasting options. These trends are resulting n mobile computing for most university users with systems accumulating enormous amount of public, private as well as confidential data on employee, students and the institution. However, mobile computing systems normally come with security issues and different vulnerabilities that make users hesitate adopting them despite the many benefits they bring. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the security levels of information in mobile computing environments with a view to modeling and developing a tool for assessing the level of their security in universities. This was accomplished through evaluating user’s skills capacity, establishing the emerging security challenges, establishing the security approaches on mobile computing, developing a security model and developing security evaluation tool for universities . The study was undertaken using mixed methods design. Stratified random sampling and purposeful sampling was used to select respondents from eight universities. The research tools that were used included questionnaires, interviews, observation and photocopying. To establish the accuracy, consistency, dependability and predictability of the research instrument, the interview schedule and questionnaire were piloted in the selected universities that were not part of the study. Object oriented programming tools were used to develop a tool for assessing security levels in the mobile computing systems. Both descriptive and inferential statistics and used for analyzing data. Data collected through questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and used to measure the relationship between depended and independent variables. Data from interview schedule was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found out that the users skills capacity in the universities to be fairly moderate. It also established the emerging security challenges in mobile computing to be rising. The study found that the security approaches in mobile computing in the universities to be varying and mostly rely on established security standards. Finally the study developed an evaluation tool (an application or programme) that can be used by universities to establish the level of their mobile system security level. The security evaluation model and a tool for mobile computing developed will be handy in helping university managers in making informed decisions that will guide day to day management of mobile computing. The tool has the ability to help universities to determine the extent to which their use of mobile computing application is safe, hence determine when there is need for enhancement of existing security approaches to mobile computing in universities and mitigate on the future trends in security for the systems. The findings are useful to mobile computing implementers, policy makers and government with regard to the same.
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