BYOD security threat to SA firms

2013-07-25 14:30
Smartphones. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Smartphones. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A new security report on online safety in South Africa has found that companies are exposed to significant risk through users who do not adhere to internal mobile security policies.

"Less than 20% of South African respondents adhere to their company’s IT policy all the time," Cisco said of one of the key findings in its 2013 Annual Security Report.

According to the report, 30% of companies had no user policy regarding company-issued tablets, laptops and smartphones.

The BYOD (Bring your own device) movement has been a headache for IT departments as the line between work and home blurs in modern environments.

"Security risks rise in businesses are also on the rise because many employees adopt “my way” work lifestyles in which their devices, work and online behaviour mix with their personal lives virtually anywhere – in the office, at home and everywhere in between," Cisco said.


The report found that companies have little control of the non-work use of company-issued devices, with less 21% of respondents using them for activities outside of work.

"Today, we live a blended work-personal life. With more and more devices, the number of end points for network security proliferates quickly," said Den Sullivan, head of Architectures and Enterprise at Cisco Emerging Theatre.

While the report found that malware on the Android platform grew 2 577% in 2012, it also was quick to indicate that mobile malware made up 0.5% of web malware.

Criminals are increasingly targeting the mass market user of a mobile device with attacks on retail and social media sites, designed to steal personal information like banking details, the report found.

Sullivan said that South African companies needed to face the threat landscape with a holistic security strategy.

"When 'everything' is connected, in fact before this, when the acceleration starts, IT organisations in South Africa will need to be ready for security scalability."

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    cisco  |  cybercrime  |  mobile

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