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
President Jonathan commends operators on National Mobile Health Insurance collaborationNigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has commended telecoms operators for their collaborative efforts in putting Nigerians on the National Mobile Health Insurance programme platform. Read More
Vodafone Ghana Fixed Broadband customers get bundle extensionVodafone Ghana says it will soon be offering a one-week validity extension to all fixed broadband users in the country. Read More
Airtel, UNAIDS partnerThe Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has explained that the partnership of the telco with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will allow ample opportunity to further promote its Touching Lives initiative aimed at positively impacting on Nigerians, especially in the area of quality healthcare ... Read More
GSMA: mobile phone gender gap emergesA new GSMA report says over 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries do not own mobile phones. Read More
French phone maker Archos debuts in NigeriaFrench mobile devices major, Archos Societe Anonymes, at the weekend in Lagos, launched its range products and connected objects, promising to redefine the service offering in the country. Read More
Glo’s smart plan gives enhanced voice, value to customersGlobacom subscribers on the postpaid platform will enjoy up to 5,000 free Short Messaging Service (SMS), up to 50GB data and up to 50 hours of free voice calls in a new and unprecedented Smart Postpaid Plan launched by the company in Lagos. Read More
Airtel Kenya launches UnlimiNET bundles for unlimited connectionsAirtel Kenya has announced the introduction of a flexible and affordable bundled tariff dubbed UnlimiNET. Read More
African Android growth makes strong headway for mobile internet accessAfrica is poised to become a hotbed for mobile growth and commerce in the coming years, according to Opera Mediaworks’ State of Mobile Advertising report released today. Read More
Orange rolls out Wi-Fi in Bungoma CountyIntegrated telecommunications solutions provider Orange has rolled out Wi-Fi in Bungoma County. The Wi-Fi solution, which is in its first phase, covers the county headquarters in Bungoma and the town. Read More
Tigo Senegal invests over US$220 000 to deploy 3G+ networkMobile operator Tigo Senegal says it has invested more than 110 million FCFA (about US$220 000) to deploy and expand the 3G+ network in various areas of this West African country. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.
COMPANY NEWSMicrosoft 4Afrika launches Biz4Afrika online SME hub
Microsoft 4Afrika used the opening of the Connected East Africa event in Diani, Kenya today to launch Biz4Afrika, an online hub providing Kenyan small and medium enterprises ...