The Security Risks Associated With Using a Mobile Application to Collect Work Order Data

Michael W. Peterson


The use of smart phone technology may be able to improve the Air Forces ability to sustain infrastructure, reduce costs and redundancy, and provide a more accurate sustainment budget forecast by using a mobile application to collect infrastructure deficiencies. However, before any such benefits can be realized, Air Force leaders need to know the security risks associated with the implementation of mobile technology. According to Daft and Lengel (1986), information richness is defined as the ability of information to change understanding within a time interval (p. 560). The richer the communication medium, the more effective it is at changing understanding. Based on media richness theory, a mobile application may be considered a richer form of communication. With additional richness and consequently more learning, are unintended operational security (OPSEC) cues transmitted via a mobile application as compared to traditional work order submission methods? This uses OPSEC principles to evaluate security concerns associated with using a mobile application to collect work order data. An experiment was conducted to compare a mobile application to the traditional collection process. The results of that experiment provide significant evidence that the use of a mobile application increases the risk of capturing critical information.