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
Student, others now landlords in MTN Trutalk promoMore lucky winners have emerged in the MTN Trutalk Best 11 Promo. At the final prize presentation ceremony held in Victoria Island, Lagos, at the weekend, some lucky winners were presented with gift of houses worth N15million each. Read More
Airtel, Ericsson extend partnership with LTE deployment in GabonAirtel Gabon has partnered with Ericsson for the deployment of next generation LTE technology and mobile network transformation. Read More
Afmobi promises Nigerians jobs with offline platformA team of experts at Afmobi Nigeria have designed a wireless platform that will create jobs or make Nigerians entrepreneurs through a plethora of fun apps, games, movie, music, pictures and business content hosted on a ‘magical fun box’ called Palmplay offline TM. Read More
The hospital of tomorrow uses mobileAruba Networks discusses how mobile technology is creating a radical shift in the future of healthcare. Read More
MNOs prefer paying fines to compliance, says NCCThe NCC has expressed disgust at the attitude of mobile network operators (MNOs) in Nigeria when it comes to compliance. Read More
Safaricom announces new suite of data productsSafaricom has announced a suite of new data products that will offer its subscribers access to faster data more conveniently. Read More
African wireless to benefit from Fortinet’s Meru acquisitionEnterprises looking to boost their wireless network security, capacity and control are set to benefit from Fortinet’s pending acquisition of Meru Networks, says the Fortinet Africa team. Read More
BlackBerry makes $137m from software, technology licensing in 3 monthsBlackBerry Limited this week reported its financial results for the three months ended May 3 this year, showing earnings of $137 million from software and technology licensing revenue. Read More
Broadband a GDP enabler: MainOneBroadband has a key role to play as an enabler to increase employment and grow GDP, MainOne CEO Funke Opeke told the recent Commonwealth Broadband Forum held in Abuja. Read More
FEATURED STORYBatswana dragging feet in digital migration
More than a month after the deadline for the digital migration from analogue television, few people have shown any pronounced enthusiasm in entering the new digital TV realm.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.
COMPANY NEWSMTN Business App of the Year submissions closed
Entries for the annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards taking place on 13 August in Johannesburg have closed, and an expert panel of judges that is adjudicating ...