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Bring Your Own Device, Don’t Forget Security

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Mobile devices have become so seamlessly integrated in our lives that we don’t think twice about completing any kind of transaction across our phones or tablets – making a purchase, depositing money into the bank or checking email for work.

These devices have become our personal assistants in both our work and personal lives, which is why more businesses are embracing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments.

According to Forrester, Inc., in 2016, 350 million employees will use smartphones and 200 million will bring their own devices to the workplace.

However, the increase in BYOD represents one of the greatest challenges and opportunities facing organizations and governments today.

Employees benefit from staying connected to work email and data when they are away from the office.

But, to accommodate access from personal mobile devices, many IT departments have relaxed their standards and security to find cost-effective ways to connect disparate devices through a firewall.

In a global survey of executives, 49 percent stated the complexity of securing multiple data sources is a top challenge, while 48 percent reported they lacked knowledge of mobile-access security. In mobile computing, security is most effective when it’s baked in from the ground up, not layered on or strung together.

A patchwork of third-party security products is not adequate in a multi-platform environment, because it leaves the user susceptible to security breaches and interrupts the overall user experience.

The lowered level of security can also become a concern for both the enterprise as IT managers will reduce the level of management capabilities, and the end user as core functionality such as Web browsing and access to app stores is disabled.

In this case, the CIO is forced to marginalize the investment in mobility, making it just about email and calendar updates – missing an opportunity to really transform the business. 

Getting this balance between user experience and security right is the most important success factor for the CIO in today’s BYOD world.

For optimal security, organizations should seek out solutions that are capable of meeting corporate network requirements while concurrently providing three layers of security at the device, server and network level.

 With the right mobile container solution, organizations don’t have to compromise their security requirements to allow employees to carry the devices they choose. But the challenge becomes preventing the secure mobile computing environment from encroaching on the user experience.

The key point of embracing BYOD is offering employees technology that makes them more efficient as they transition from work to personal tasks.

To achieve this, their smartphone or tablet needs to provide the same capabilities as they have on a desktop: attaching emails, browsing the Web, toggling between work/personal environments, using applications, accessing Documents to Go, and much more.

These capabilities help organizations of any size and from any vertical arm their employees with secure devices that meet the demands of their job while keeping total cost of ownership down.

Another important fact to remember about BYOD security solutions is how the market has demonstrated the superiority of management systems and infrastructure that support multiple devices running varied operating systems.

In an environment where mobile technology innovation moves so quickly, organizations need to think about security solutions that provide the flexibility to adopt future technological advances.

For employees, the ultimate value in BYOD is the ability to have both work and personal functionality on a single device that is capable of keeping their data separate and secure. With the right BYOD solution, organizations will be able to strike the right balance between security, user experience and total cost of ownership.

Scott Totzke is responsible for maintaining, consistently, high standard for the security of BlackBerry products and services and helping to shape BlackBerry’s regulatory compliance, lawful access and privacy strategies on global scale.
His organization includes enterprise product management and strategy, security product life cycle management, operations and government sales. He founded and directs the BlackBerry Security teams that have made the transparency of its security solutions BlackBerry’s single biggest differentiator in enterprise and consumer markets. BlackBerry solutions continue to lead the mobile industry in certifications and security approvals, meeting the strict requirements of government and other security conscious organizations.

 

 


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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Nigeria, Others Facing ‘Millions of Cyber Attacks’ in 2020

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Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, continues to fall victim to millions of malware attacks and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), according to the latest research from Kaspersky.

The IT security firm says its security solutions have reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of PUA (including pornware, adware) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

PUAs are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves, Kaspersky explains. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way.

For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetizing software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware, according to Kaspersky.

“Evaluating results over the same seven-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense.

In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances,” the company adds.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the ‘grey zone’ programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in seven months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals.

“The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.


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