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Dell: Rise of BYOD a ‘hackers dream’ as privacy risks rise across local enterprise

Dell: Rise of BYOD a ‘hackers dream’ as privacy risks rise across local enterprise

“Our mobile devices know more about us than ever before."

Privacy Awareness Week is now underway, an initiative held every year to promote awareness of privacy issues and the importance of the protection of personal information.

As technology in the workplace evolves and more companies implement BYOD strategies, technology firm Dell believes there is more impetus on businesses to ensure security across their networks don’t impact your personal devices.

In fact, a recent report from the Australian Signals Directorate claim that cyber-attacks on Australian businesses specifically rose 20 percent in 2014 and is expected to increase further, with New Zealand no doubt expected to follow the trend.

“Our mobile devices know more about us than ever before,” says Jeff Morris, General Manager End User Computing, Dell. “We can use them to track our health and fitness levels, make mobile payments and control our household thermostats.

“But the unprecedented levels of personal information stored on these devices cause huge privacy concerns for people who use them for work.

“Effective security measures is especially important for companies with a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy. BYOD is a popular style for work for many Australian businesses and, with an increased blurring of the lines between work and play, there are employee concerns that their privacy is at risk.

“If employees believe their personal information can be accessed or monitored by IT, they are likely to work around security policies.

“But while ensuring privacy is important, you also need to protect the enterprise information accessed from and residing on employees’ mobile devices.”

According to Morris, creating a secure enterprise workspace on personal devices can help address privacy concerns.

“The workspace separates enterprise data and applications from personal ones,” he explains. “As a result, personal data and apps can’t mix with or capture enterprise information.

“This approach protects employee privacy, since IT manages only the secure workspace. By contrast, traditional MDM solutions allow IT to control the entire device and access all the data on it.”

Social Media

Delving into the issue deeper, Ian Hodge, Managing Director at Dell Software A/NZ believes the rise of social media on smartphones is, for want of a better phrase, a ‘hackers dream.’

“With many people taking security for granted, coupled with the fact that social media and mobility trends continue to grow, there are huge risks involved in respect to security and privacy issues,” Hodge adds.

“If we continue the trends of smart device, social media and mobility adoption, we could see a future where things like identity theft, ransom ware, data theft and fraud are commonplace.

“If a smart device is lost and your social identities are automatically logged in, cyber criminals can obtain a plethora of information and gain access to businesses and end-users most valuable possession – their data.”

According to Hodge, online trust needs to be bolstered by demonstrating the commerce sites are well protected irrespective how they are accessed, from both a corporate and consumer perspective.

“Hacking is a clear and present danger for organisations that store customer databases and credit card information,” he adds.

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