A Look at BYOD in 2016

Happy 2016! It’s a new year, and a time for fresh resolutions to improve your life over the next 12 months, whether that involves running a marathon, getting a new job or taking that trip abroad you’ve been putting off. But for businesses, those New Year’s resolutions should be expressly focused on stronger security. With data breaches, email hacks and password thefts becoming more and more commonplace – and each cyberattack casting wider nets of victims – this is one resolution that can’t be allowed to fall through. This is especially true for organizations adopting BYOD and mobile-friendly policies. Just as developers have taken a “mobile first” approach to creating new apps – designing and optimizing apps from the ground up for mobile viewing and touchscreen interfaces – companies have begun taking the same approach to how their employees operate, whether it’s by allowing them to use their own personal devices in the workplace or utilizing either personal or company-owned devices while working remotely. As CIO.com points out, it’s important that this strategy pays special attention to security. Integrating more wireless and mobile devices into your company may make employees’ lives easier and more convenient, but it can open up serious potential security vulnerabilities if the proper precautions aren’t in place. A secure remote access VPN paired with cybersecurity policies like multi-factor authentication can help defend mobile communications – and protect the personal and corporate data that those communications send back and forth – from external threats. A New Year’s Resolution for Stronger Mobile Security As BNDA notes in its top 10 IT predictions for 2016, more than half...

New Ways to Secure Mobile Devices for BYOD

The discussion on BYOD centers on whether employees working more efficiently on their personal devices is worth whatever network security vulnerabilities are sown when enterprises allow numerous devices and operating systems to access their networks. As a compromise between employees and employers that brings everyone onto the same page, a BYOD policy helps. But, it doesn’t completely reconcile the interests of both employees and employers, as work efficiency and enhanced network security are far too often seen as mutually exclusive concepts. That’s why new technologies that could help employers to secure mobile devices are so appealing. So, what are these technologies, and do they really provide any greater benefit than existing BYOD policies and approaches? A ‘Kill Switch’ Could Give New Life to BYOD A new bill working its way through the California legislature would require mobile device manufacturers to equip their products with a “kill switch” that would allow users to remotely disable phones should they get lost or stolen. The thinking is that if potential thieves knew there was a chance a stolen phone could be rendered useless by a kill switch, they would have less incentive to steal one. If that bill, SB 962, becomes law and begins a national trend, could it also make BYOD more appealing to enterprises? No, according to FierceCIO contributor Jeff Rubin. The problem with kill switches, as a supplement, or even a full-fledged alternative, to BYOD policies, is that they don’t really place any power back in the hands of the enterprise. The device is still the employee’s, as is the decision to disable it. Legally, the employer cannot compel...

Mobile Malware and the Corporate Network

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and for IT teams looking to patch the latest vulnerability (i.e. Heartbleed), trying to prevent the next attack is a full-time job in itself. However, it’s not very often that we have a chance to examine some tangible information about the threats we’re trying to safeguard against. That’s why research recently highlighted in CIO Insight caught our attention. A Look Back In order to understand where we’re headed, it’s important to understand where we’ve come from. The research took a look back at 2013, examining the prevalence of security concerns like spam and malware, which allowed some extrapolations to be made about what to expect in 2014. For example, CIO Insight reports a significant drop in spam levels as a result of more botnets being traced and removed. But true to form, when one way to wreak havoc is stifled, cyber criminals quickly changed tactics. Now, instead of trying to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading an illegitimate attachment containing malware, malicious links are being included right in the body of the message. These malicious links aren’t only in emails, though – the research revealed the number of malware URLs increased by 131 percent last year, appearing most frequently on education, travel, sports and pornography websites. Unsurprisingly, an increasing amount of traffic to the aforementioned websites is being driven from mobile devices. And, as we’ve previously discussed, Android devices are becoming cyber criminals’ favorite targets. In fact, over the last six months of 2013, “an average of 5,768 types of Android malware was found per day.” With enterprises already contemplating security concerns spurred by BYOD,...

The Security Risks of Remote Support Tools

A recent study has come to light which shows that although remote support tools are being increasingly implemented within enterprises, IT decision-makers are uncertain about their safety. They should be, and for good reason. The study, conducted by Bomgar and Ovum, focused on the challenges that enterprises face in providing remote support to employees who are using a wide range of devices, such as smartphones and tablets. According to the research, nearly 25 percent of workers are currently mobile, and as a result, businesses will increase their support for remote workers over the coming 18 months. Despite this, the majority (more than two-thirds) of IT decision-maker respondents were concerned about the associated security risks. Remote support is alluring because it typically runs in web browsers, which makes it easy to install and utilize on many kinds of devices. However, because it is browser-based, all of the vulnerabilities of the browser can compromise the safety of communications with a corporate network. If a user does not log out properly, an attacker can gain total access to a network, with little oversight by IT. Plus, all network communication is transacted via third-party gateways, which exposes an enterprise’s servers to potential threats. Enterprises that are looking for all of the functionality, but none of the safety concerns associated with a remote support tool, should instead consider using an IPsec VPN gateway with a remote desktop component and a possibility to check server certificates at the VPN gateway. By using such a solution, an enterprise could have its staff access and control networked computers and devices through a highly secure and encrypted tunnel....

NCP Empowers Enterprise Mobility for Truesense Imaging

In a recent blog post, we discussed workforce trends identified by Forrester Research, which center on mobility as a tool being used with increasing frequency to bolster employee productivity. It seems that everywhere we look today, remote workers are becoming more prominent in the workforce, while traditional 9-to-5, face-to-face working environments are becoming few and far between. And considering the substantial research that shows workers can be more productive when working outside the office, more and more enterprise-level businesses will have to take a hard look at technologies that allow off-site workers to securely access company data and IT assets. One company that has embraced enterprise mobility is Truesense Imaging, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of the world’s highest performance image sensor devices. Today, NCP announced its virtual private network (VPN) technology is enabling Truesense employees to securely connect to the corporate network and work from home or on the road, improving both workforce mobility and productivity. When Truesense’s increasingly-mobile technical and sales teams demanded secure, remote access to their corporate network in order to work seamlessly while off-site, the company recognized how important this was, not only for productivity, but also workforce morale and future recruiting efforts.  In order to attract top-level talent, organizations need to show that they are willing to invest in technologies that help employees do their jobs to the best of their ability. For these reasons, Truesense chose NCP’s enterprise IPsec VPN clients and fully automated VPN management system, which provide a secure tunnel from any Internet access point into the corporate network using their company-owned Windows XP, Windows 7 or Mac OS X...