CIOs need to secure and embrace mobile devices in the workplace
says Simon Bain, CTO and founder of Simplexo
This week has seen a number of security experts speak out about the security issues surrounding the consumerisation of IT, claiming it is opening up a mess of technical, regulatory and legal issues as employees use personal PCs and smartphones in the workplace.
Among those voicing their concerns are Lehman Brothers, John Lewis and NFU Mutual. In particular, Michael Everall, chief information security officer (CISO) with Lamco LLC – Lehman Brothers Holdings said: “It’s not a question of whether it’s happening, it’s here and it’s not going away. If I ask anyone who doesn’t have access to a smartphone to put their hands up you will probably find that it’s a vanishingly small number of people.”
Simon Bain, CTO and founder of information search specialist, Simplexo, commented: “The use of mobile devices in the workplace is here to stay and that’s why it is crucial that CIOs move fast to ensure that all corporate data is secure, whether it is being accessed via an employees’ smartphone or personal PC.
“A major concern for security chiefs is a consumer mobile device loaded with corporate data being left in the back of a taxi, which isn’t surprising considering that tens of thousands of mobile devices are left in taxis, trains and buses annually. The consequences of this can be potentially fatal to businesses, with confidential customer and corporate data being exposed to the threat of ID theft or being leaked via the Internet, resulting in a company’s brand being tarnished, and a slump in profit as well as shareholder value.
“With data loss being high on the agenda, CIOs need to start taking control. As the number of people using multiple devices continues to soar along with the demand for people’s personal devices to be streamlined with company systems, so will the requirement for applications, which enable them to use their handhelds to find documents on their desktop computer and summon them securely to their smartphone wherever they may be.”
Louis Gamon, information security officer with the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I don’t think currently that Android and other mobiles are anywhere near secure enough for corporate use.” Gamon believes that companies thinking of letting their staff use their own devices at work will need to put additional policies and software tools in place to manage and secure all of the corporate data held on these devices.
Simon agrees that additional policies and software tools are required and explained: “There are a number of software tools to choose from; however, these all pose a different level of security which CIOs need to take into account. A highly secure tool, such as a dedicated mobile search application removes the issue surrounding data loss and IT security, as once the search is complete, information is scrubbed from the memory of the device, so there is no chance of data theft if that device is lost or stolen.
“This new working culture, whereby employees are welcoming the capability to access all of their working files, general information and personal social media content from both in and out of the office, will continue to drive the demand for mobile search applications. In order to address security issues, CIOs need to adopt mobile search applications that eliminate individual searches on multiple data sources – leaving no trace of their searches.
“As more services move towards the cloud, or in fact, to any Internet-based applications, we will see a greater demand for mobile search applications that streamline this information; and providing employees for the first time with the capability to manage disparate files efficiently. Forgetting where a file is stored or what communication was last made with a supplier will become irrelevant and a thing of the past, as one single click will be all that it takes to search accurately and find the information you need from any one of your mobile devices.”
Simon believes that businesses embracing this new working culture will benefit from having improved productivity, more effective communications whilst also being able to provide their employees with greater flexibility as they have the resources needed to make strategic decisions when they need to.
Simon concluded: “From a security aspect, employees using a secure mobile search application on their mobile device will no longer need to worry about the threat of data loss and leakage, and nor will CIOs. Not one trace of their information searches will be left so the security issues surrounding accessing corporate data out of the office are automatically solved, meaning that they have access to the same information they would if working from their company PC.”
More information: www.simplexo.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Simplexo Ltd
Simplexo Ltd is focused on delivering a new experience in federated search, and is founded on a solid history in electronic document management and retrieval. Today, Simplexo technology is delivering value to individuals and organisations in many industry sectors, including financial services, healthcare and local government.
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