Securing the mobile enterprise
MOBILE| Aug. 1, 2012, 3:41 p.m.
By Doros Hadjizenonos, South Africa Sales Manager at Check Point Software Technologies
Mobile devices have infiltrated nearly every aspect of people’s lives. The amount of personal and corporate data stored on these devices, makes securing the information on the device a priority.
A survey conducted in January 2012 by Dimensional Research explored the impact of mobile devices on information security in corporate environments, noting that 94 percent of companies have seen an increased number of personal mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, connecting to corporate networks. Increased employee productivity and mobility are the main benefits for organisations that allow these devices in the workplace, but those benefits come with their own set of risks.
The threats associated with mobile devices can come in many forms, including:
Mobile operating system – Every OS, including Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows, comes with their own set of security challenges. Threats can originate from mobile apps, the mobile browser, as well as insecure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi hotspot usage.
Employees – that the lack of security awareness amongst employees is often the leading factor impacting the security of mobile data. Many employees simply aren’t aware of the mobile security risks and corporate policies associated with mobile devices, such as storing corporate data, customer information or access to business applications.
Personal mobile devices – The consumerisation of IT brings forth another layer of complexity as more employees want to leverage their personal mobile device for business purposes. While companies begin to accept the “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) trend, there are significant concerns about the privacy of sensitive data stored on the devices that IT must handle.
The first step businesses should consider when safeguarding against these security challenges is developing and enforce best practices and corporate policies for the mobile enterprise. This should include a list of approved devices that can access corporate data, the types of data that can be stored on mobile devices and taken out of a corporate environment, which types of mobile apps can be downloaded onto devices, procedure for theft or loss of a device, a routine for updating operating systems patches, requiring mobile passwords, as well as having the capability to wipe a lost or stolen device.
Mobile device usage in the workplace is a trend that has staying power because it un-tethers employees from their offices, allowing them to work more efficiently while on the go. As with any emerging trend, organisations will need to be careful about striking the right balance between mobility that empowers employees and the new security concerns that arise from it.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Huawei joins Vodafone to bolster E-learning in refugee campHuawei has come out in support of an initiative to supply over 18,000 refugee students in Africa’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya, with tablet PCs for education. Read More
SA author writes acclaimed novel using BlackBerry smartphoneA South African businessman and author has written an entire novel using his smartphone. Read More
Blu Telecommunications partners Huawei on 4G LTE networkBlu Telecommunications, a Ghanaian owned and managed telecommunications company deploying ultra-fast 4G LTE network ,will partner Huawei Technologies to provide a wide range of telecommunications services using 4G LTE technology. Read More
Airtel Malawi launches US$35,000 Musical CompetitionAirtel Malawi has launched a K14 million (US$34,508.26) mobile music competition which will be conducted in a partnership with Trace Music Star and international music super star Akon. Read More
UNHCR, Safaricom to take tablets to Dadaab refugeesThe United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Vodafone Foundation and Safaricom, have announced a partnership to bring transformative mobile-based education programmes to pupils at 13 schools in one of the world's largest refugee camps. Read More
Tigo Ghana connects Domestic Violence SecretariatTigo Ghana has provided ICT services to connect the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to enable them to carry out their work in a more relaxed and digitally-friendly way. Read More
Safaricom to lower Kenya - Rwanda roaming ratesSafaricom has announced that it is set to lower the cost of calls and roaming rates between Kenya and Rwanda, with effect from the 1st of October 2014. Read More
Hunt on for Africa’s music talentBharti Airtel has partnered with TRACE Music Star and global recording icon Akon to roll out what it describes as the largest mobile musical competition in Africa. Read More
Blu Telecommunication unveils Founders Campaign at Accra MallBlu Telecommunication, one of three companies authorised by the National Communications Authority to provide 4G internet services in Ghana, is gearing up for launch. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.