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    Winter-2016  


Allowing Employees To Use Their Own Electronic Devices May Put A Business At Risk

Companies may think they are saving money by allowing their employees to use their personal cell phones for work, but they may actually putting their own cyber networks at risk.

According to research conducted by the cyber security firm TopPatch more than 1700 malicious apps were being downloaded by consumers on Google Play and third-party Android app providers during one seven day period.

Some of these malicious apps were downloaded more than 100,000 times, during a week long investigation in December 2012.

Top Patch said most consumers and small business owners don’t realize malware on cell phones can easily spread to company networks, giving hackers access to company secrets, financial data and other proprietary information. Malware is one of the most efficient ways for hackers to attack small and medium sized businesses.

Just a few short years ago, few companies allowed employees to access company emails from non-company issued cell phones because IT security knew personal devices put their networks at risk. This is one reason why BlackBerry was the corporate go-to gadget for corporations for so many years.

But this all changed with the rising popularity of iPhones and Android phones. More corporations, especially small businesses, are relaxing their cell phone policy and letting employees “Bring Your Own Device” to work, or called "BYOD" in the industry.

But Top Patch argues this relaxed policy comes with a risk. Consumers or employees who download malicious apps during the TopPatch analysis would have been impacted in many ways including:

So what can small and medium sized business owners do to protect their business networks? 

Chiranjeev Bordoloi is the CEO of Top Patch and offers this approach: “I like to say "ARM" yourself.”

He calls ARM an acronym that stands for Assess, Remediate and Monitor. 

  • Assess which free tools from reputed vendors can scan and protect your company’s computers. Then, 
  • Remediate the problems the scanning tool discovers. This means patching security holes or seeking expert advice on critical vulnerabilities.
  • Finally, continue to Monitor logs for any irregular activity. to discover any suspicious activity and address it quickly. The sooner a breach is reported, the higher the chance of avoiding reputational damage or financial loss.  

Bordoloi says the key to preventing security breaches is being proactive. U

Utilize such security products, like RemediationVault, http://www.toppatch.com/products/mobilevault-mobile-device-management) can give you that piece of mind and security for under $20 a month. 

Chiranjeev Bordoloi is the CEO of Top Patch and can be reached through www.toppatch.com.

 


© 2017, Information Strategies, Inc.
P.O. Box 315, Ridgefield, NJ 07657
201-242-0600