By Fred Mitchell, Symantec Division Manager, Drive Control Corporation
Mobility has opened countless possibilities for the workforce within any organisation. Working while on the move from a mobile device such as a tablet, Smartphone or laptop, increases productivity and delivers the convenience of working from any location. Working with multiple devices is a new wave in mobility with many users opting to use a combination of different devices depending on their location and requirements.
However, as this trend gains traction, a new challenge has emerged – protecting multiple devices that use a variety of Operating Systems (OS), protocols and platforms. Security is essential when mobile devices are used for business purposes, as viruses, data loss and corporate security breaches are a reality that needs to be addressed. Ensuring users and organisations do not fall foul of malware and cyber crime on any device requires sophisticated multi-device protection that works across OS’s and different devices to safeguard personal data and mitigate the risk of cyber threats.
According to the 2013 Norton report, consumers are more mobile than ever, however, security on these mobile devices has lagged behind. Despite the fact that 63% of those surveyed own Smartphones and 30% own tablets, almost half of respondents admit to failing to take basic precautions such as using passwords, having security software or backing up files on their mobile device. In addition, nearly half of the respondents report using their personal devices for work-related activities. This creates new security risks for enterprises, as cybercriminals have the potential to access even more valuable information, and the more devices we use, the greater this threat becomes.
In addition to this, South Africa has one of the highest rates of cybercrime, with 73% of respondents indicating that they have been a victim at some stage in their lives, while 63% of mobile users claim the same. In a world where cybercrime continues to be a growing global concern, with a direct cost estimated at $113 billion around the world, the need for security on mobile devices across platforms is clear.
While there are solutions available for protecting mobile devices, they often require purchasing of different software for each different device and OS, with multiple license keys and increased admin when it comes to remembering to renew licenses. As shown by the Norton report, mobile users are not security savvy, and as a result security needs to be simple, easy to use and provide all of the functionality necessary to ensure protection from a wide variety of threats.
New tools for multi-device security offer powerful protection for Windows, iOS, Android, iPhone and iPad in a single, straightforward solution that enables users to safely take advantage of a connected life on multiple devices, no matter which devices you use. By protecting users against viruses, unsafe websites, bad files, phishing scams, spyware, social network threats and hard to remove infections, multi-device protection can guard against online identity theft and data loss. These tools also offer backup of files stored on PC or Mac, and allow you to remotely lock and locate a stolen or lost mobile device as well as remotely erase information, documents and personal details from mobile devices to ensure confidential and sensitive information is not compromised.
Sophisticated multi-device protection offers a single, integrated solution that protects users from threats as well as mobile devices from loss, quickly and accurately detecting and eliminating almost any threat before it can reach the device. By seamlessly uniting powerful protection across a range of devices into a single, easy to use solution, there is no longer any need to purchase multiple security solutions for each different device. Multi-device protection means there is simply no longer an excuse not to protect all devices from the multitude of threats that exist today.
Mobile devices like Smartphones and tablets can often be the cause of leaked data, identity theft and corporate security breaches, amongst other issues. Ultimately, these devices are computers, and should be treated with the same care and caution as you would your desktop or notebook. Password protection along with sophisticated multi-device security can help to safeguard users from a variety of threats and help to keep the connected world safe from cybercrime and identity theft.