Data fairy godmothers don’t exist for protecting information on your mobile – so what does?

Salacious headlines around security breaches continue to dominate the media. Capped by recent Hollywood celebrity attacks and private photos being made public, it seems there is no end in sight for cyber attacks attracting the public’s interest.

Recent breaches have sparked mass uncertainty in digital security measures and have left consumer and business users concerned about what personal information may be vulnerable. Device manufacturers have experienced a backlash from its users, calling for stronger security measures.

This news followed a string of security breaches and news that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) resolved 15,492 data protection complaints in the last year– a rise of over 10% on the previous financial year, and a record number to date.

>See also: Mobile content management and BYOD: the Dropbox catch-22

Earlier this summer, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden singled out Dropbox for being “hostile to privacy” He claimed the cloud-storage provider lacked the security measures to protect users against government snooping because it controls the encryption keys – meaning it’s capable of sharing data stored on its servers with the government.

This said, a transformation over the past several years has seen manufacturers deliver world-class consumer products that provide users with more power and freedom to share information than they have ever had before on mobile devices. Unfortunately this also means potentially syncing corporate data to consumer outlets, such as corporate content to iCloud, Facebook, LinkedIn. In direct conflict with this are enterprise security teams, which are struggling to keep pace with how to use basic mobile device management (MDM) products to control the innovative and powerful consumer functionality for work-related activities.

There’s no question. We are living in the era of data – both in an individual and corporate capacity. We can also increasingly access it from anywhere thanks to mobile devices. Users and businesses alike want to feel as though someone is protecting this information – a ‘data fairy godmother’. The continued headlines around security breaches shine a spotlight on the fact that data security is still taking a back seat.

What’s clear is that there is an ever-present need to promote greater security awareness.

From a business perspective, too often IT departments looking to deploy BYOD in their organisations use legacy MDM technology so employees can access files and work remotely on smart devices. This simply manages the device – business and personal data isn’t differentiated between, and there’s nothing keeping the private data secure.

With this, we enter the murky waters of employers having access to employees’ personal communications, apps, pictures – the lot. It seems a big cost to pay to be able to use their preferred mobile device at work. Who would really be surprised if employee privacy was the next big corporate scandal?

>See also: Containerisation: the winning strategy for BYOD mobility

Of course, businesses have their data to think about too. News sources frequently carry stories about data leaks, which can be costly to businesses on both a financial and reputational level. But that doesn’t mean companies should ask employees to surrender their mobile device and everything on it in an attempt to safeguard corporate data.

When corporate and personal assets need to be protected, businesses need to look to a security solution that is capable of both, such as a containerisation approach in which corporate data is stored in a secure container, entirely separate to the device owner’s personal content.


Sourced from Phil Barnett, Good Technology

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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