The reality is we all get hacked. Individuals, public clouds and corporations, we’re all vulnerable and we all have the same weakness: Mobility. For corporations, this comes in the form of BYOD. The reality if BYOD is something that can’t be ignored, especially when it comes to security because your employees are never going to care about mobile security as much as you do, therefore there needs to be heavy walls of security separating their personal devices from the masses of malware waiting to strike.
Over the past year, it seems like every day there’s a new story about giant companies getting hacked. From UPS where customer debit can credit card information was stolen, to Target where 40 million debit and credit card numbers were stolen during the holiday season, to the New York Attorney General where 22.8 million private records of New Yorkers were stolen, is proof enough that no person or company is immune to hacks.
Cyber hacks in North America, particularly the US are at an all-time high and growing rapidly. People in the US are very trusting of public clouds, and most have several apps preloaded with all of their personal information for the convenience of banking, shopping and communicating. The general attitude toward this ease of accommodation translates to every aspect of the average American life, including where they choose to put their corporate data. Want to check your email but your work computer is out of reach? Why not just use your web mobile web browser, or use Dropbox to be able to check important documents at home?
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This along with the American work ethic of checking work related things on our own time and working overtime makes American companies huge targets, perhaps even the biggest targets. Employees generally have good intentions when trying to work out of the office and it’s these good intentions that will get you into trouble.
Just last year, iCloud was hacked leaking private celebrity pictures to the world. Even though these leaks were from a public cloud that held personal information, this hack should frighten you; it’s a major threat to corporate data via the thorn in our BYOD side: Shadow IT. An overwhelming amount of employees that admit to Shadow IT is enough to make any IT department shake in their boots. The kind of hack that affected all of those celebrities could potentially destroy any company through any public cloud service employees have ever saved corporate information on or checked their email on.
Since celebrities are more vulnerable to personal hacks than the average person, it’s safe to assume that they would have some extra security on their mobile devices at the advice of their PR team making your average employee even more vulnerable than that.
The fact that it was relatively easy for the hackers to get a hold of the personal information they were looking for via the public cloud creates a backdoor for any hacker to access that employees work data and in turn, worm its way into more important, critical data that will cost your company millions of dollars.
We can fortify our security and take all the precautions in the world but the bottom line remains: as mobile security gets more advanced so does the malware trying to bring it down and when it happens to you, because it will happen, what are you going to do to ensure that the data breach is contained, and is kept on a minor scale?
The only way this can be done is with the age old mantra: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. We can hope for the best by educating our employees on the dangers of BYOD vulnerability and make them care about what happens to corporate data. We can install every form of mobile security and blacklist apps the IT department deems too risky. We can prepare for the worst by having a plan ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice and an MDM/BYOD solution you can trust.
Malware will always pose a major threat and will continue to advance and grow as mobile security grows stronger. The reality is you will get hacked. But will you be able to properly defend and protect you sensitive corporate data, or will business be destroyed in the process?