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BYOD Security Remains Within Grasp

Posted By George Hulme, Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We didn’t need yesterday’s iPad announcements to know that the mobile and BYOD trend is the hot hand in IT today. In fact, it’s hard to overestimate the change BYOD is bringing to the enterprise. And certainly, there’s certainly not much enterprises can do to change the trend. The best enterprises can hope to do is to embrace the reality, and mitigate the risks the best they can. 

The reality is, however, that many enterprises aren’t even sure how to do that. That’s if a number of surveys are to be believed. Not only are enterprises unsure about how to manage and secure these devices, but many haven’t even started. According to this Channelnomics story from last month, about 40 percent of user smartphones have no antivirus software installed. Yet, according to a survey released earlier this year, this one conducted by Cisco, 76% of respondents believe BYOD is somewhat to extremely positive to their companies and almost all, or 95%, of those asked allow employee-owned devices into the workplace.

This story from, which ran earlier this week found that 42% of devices lost or left in an unsecure place had zero active security measures in place

For those enterprises that are unsure about how to securely manage mobile devices in the workplace there will be plenty of answers to be found and ideas to be shared Thursday and Friday at the ISSA International Conference. Here are a few that caught my attention:  

Thursday @ 10:20, Room G: Mobile Devices – Where Do You Go Today? (Threats, Security Controls and People) 

Roy Wattanasin, Information Security Officer, MITM 

Mobile devices in an organization may be challenging and daunting. What are some ways to support mobile devices at the workplace? How do we start? Are we supporting only corporate managed assets or personal devices as well? How do we get management assisstance for this? How do we encourage users to participate? What policies and procedures are to be created and implemented? Join us for this session that will help find ways to alleviate the issues. 

Thursday @ 2:30, Room B: Mobile Threats and You 

Vincenzo Iozzo, Director of Vulnerability Intelligence, Trail of Bits Inc 

This session will analyze recent trends in the mobile threats landscape, suggest effective strategies to mitigate these issues and try to gauge what the future looks like for companies and organizations seeking to protect themselves. Specifically the talk will highlight how mobile poses a totally different set of problems that have very little similarities with desktops and why the security community at large has to make a mindset shift to handle them. Finally assisted by data collected in the past few years we will discuss future trends and threats. 

Friday @ 10:20, Room D Wrapping Your Arms Around Mobile Security in the Enterprise 

Nathan King, Endpoint Security Manager, United Airlines 

With the rapid expansion of tablets in the market and their proliferation into the enterprise we find ourselves trying to stay ahead of managing and securing them. United Airlines is rolling out 10,000+ iPads to their pilots as electronic flight bags to replace paper manuals, flight charts and allow for the most current weather charts. We will review many of the mobile device management options that are manageable on iPads, provide some thoughts around those options and review some of the security settings that United has settled upon for the iPads. We will end the discussion with future thoughts about how United will secure mobile devices and BYOD in the future. 

Friday @ 3:40, Room I: Welcome to Tomorrowland, Today - BYOD - It’s Here, Are You Ready? 

Andrea Hoy, Virtual CISO, A.Hoy & Associates, President, SenSe1 Security, Vice President, ISSA International 

Ronald I. Raether, Jr. – Partner, Faruki Ireland & Cox P.L.L. 

Only just a couple of years ago, we were taking steps to keep employees from accessing company networks and storing company data on their home PCs. Today, driven by recessionary cost pressures and employee preference, the pressure to allow BYOD and the related security and privacy issues are on the rise. This session will identify the security and privacy issues presented by BYOD, discuss the steps many companies are taking to adapt to BYOD, and what steps should be taken to maintain control and accountability over sensitive data and otherwise protect company assets, including modifications to MDM policies, poison pills, service and maintenance issues and more. The presentation discusses the above in the context of recent legal initiatives including City of Ontario v. Quon, recent NLRB decisions, state hour and wage issues, and privacy trends emerging from the FTC and the recently created CFPB. 

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