Dangers of implementing BOYD into your organisation

Mobile Device Management needs to be examined locally, say Kaspersky Lab

According to a Forrester survey carried out in Q4 of 2012* 75% of company employees across the globe want to use their personal mobile devices for work on a daily basis. This is a 3% increase from the figures in 2011. Most (76%) of this group is specifically interested in using their smartphone at work.

“Employees who are required to travel for business purposes are increasingly using their mobile devices for convenience, portability and easy manageability via a touch screen. This is great for the employees but can cause a number of problems for IT administrators in any business,” said Riaan Badenhorst, Head of Operations for Sub-Saharan Africa for Kaspersky Lab, says

Many companies already see mobile devices as an essential tool for employees; however companies should not forget that the rapid development of mobile devices and operating systems has attracted the attention of cybercriminals too. These days, thousands of malware programmes exist, which include mobile viruses that send text messages to premium-rate numbers without the user’s knowledge and spyware programmes that gain access to entire device’s data and tracks all the actions performed by the user.

Continues Badenhorst; “The massive popularity of mobile devices has led to corporate employees actively using their private smartphones and tablet PCs as part of their everyday toolkit. This has become a real dilemma for system administrators and IT security specialists who today find themselves losing control over the mobile segment of the corporate network, and thus they feel that they are unable to predict where new threats might come from and as such provide the right protection for the corporate network.”

This trend has been dubbed ‘bring your own device’ or BYOD and from an IT security standpoint, BYOD’s biggest challenge is that it allows “untrusted” tools to gain access to corporate systems – often without complying with corporate requirements. Whether it’s the communication principles, or the functional capabilities, mobile devices often do not fit into a specific security policy.

“To address these problems, security software developers have been working hard to create technologies and software that are collectively termed Mobile Device Management (MDM). Software using MDM technologies helps to monitor, manage, protect and maintain a broad range of mobile devices, including mobile phones, smartphones, tablet PCs and other gadgets, whether under corporate or private ownership. By controlling, protecting and managing data, the risk of compromising the network infrastructure can be dramatically reduced, while at the same time improving the reliability and performance of IT processes,” explains Badenhorst.

The technologies implemented in MDM software can use the functional capabilities available in popular systems such as Apple MDM or Microsoft Exchange. With the help of MDM, it’s possible to create, standardise and set profiles for mobile corporate mail, encrypt and remotely wipe data kept on devices, install and remove software, block lost and stolen devices, manage antivirus protection, and lots more.

Kaspersky Lab has introduced their Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business (KESB) product, which addresses these requirements – offering businesses the Mobile Security strategy they need through one platform, one console, and at one cost.

“It is so important to understand that the rise of new threats targeting mobile platforms is real – and no longer merely theoretical. For this reason, it is critical that organisations decision makers are aware of the dangers of implementing BYOD to their organisations and stop being ignorant to the importance of security and adopting the attitude of “this will never happen to my company”. The sooner the right measures are put in place for effective BYOD, the better it is for the business.” concludes Badenhorst.

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Dangers of implementing BOYD into your organisation