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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Enterprise user, you are the weakest link...

Mark Bridge writes:

Any security process is only as strong as the weakest link. That’s something of a truism. And for many organisations, the weak link is most likely to occur when information leaves the office. Which means it’s often caused by the user’s mobile phone or the user themselves.

This is a situation Good Technology can help companies to control.

In today’s podcast feature I’m talking with Dr Nicko van Someren, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, who explained how Good is supporting a trend that’s become known as ‘bring your own device’. Rather than providing employees with a company phone, more and more businesses are putting corporate information on an employee’s personal smartphone or tablet. The challenge is keeping corporate information safe without interfering with the user’s personal data... and vice versa.

The flexibility of consumer mobile devices - the reason many people choose them - is also a risk to the enterprise. Nicko pointed out that a message in the standard email program on an iPhone or iPad could easily be opened, forwarded or copied… which may well be contrary to company security policies or against industry regulations. The danger to company information isn’t necessarily an ‘evil hacker’ but could just as well be the well-intentioned employee.

“We are in the business of enabling businesses to get their internal information, their crucial business data, out into the hands of their employees - and perhaps even into the hands of their customers - in a very controlled fashion”, Nicko said. “The big horizontal application that everyone needs is email and calendar and Personal Information Management - and so we have tools like ‘Good for Enterprise’ which allow you to containerise your email and provide some degree of protection to your business data even though it’s on a device which is not managed by the business.”

Yes, enterprise user, you are the weakest link.

Talking of which - if you were watching daytime television last week, you may have seen BBC TV’s Weakest Link on Friday. And if you did, you’d have spotted professional toastmaster and podcast host Iain Graham failing to identify Natalie Portman as the Jerusalem-born actress who appeared in several Star Wars films.

If only he’d had a mobile internet connection...

You can listen to the full interview with Dr Nicko van Someren on our website, via iTunes or by downloading the MP3 file. The phrase ‘Iain, you are the weakest link’ isn’t available as a download but is now saved as a personalised ringtone on my phone.
Author: The Fonecast
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