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Mobile now more vulnerable

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A recent survey by Blackberry Limited has revealed that despite extensive resources dedicated to mobile security, many IT decision-makers remain concerned about the level of vulnerabilities that persist.

A new global research initiative conducted by BlackBerry Limited, finds that despite extensive resources dedicated to mobile security, many IT decision-makers remain concerned about the level of vulnerabilities that persist. The study surveyed 1 000 executives from seven countries across a wide range of vertical industries, including financial services, government and healthcare.

The survey reveals that 73 percent of organizations have a mobile security strategy in place, but only three percent say they have implemented the highest levels of security possible. This is in part because of user attitudes – 82 percent of the executives admit mobile security precautions cause at least some frustration among employees, and potentially hinder productivity. Overall, 44 percent fear that too much mobile security will prevent employees from doing their job.

This fear of implementing a stronger mobile environment led to a startling majority, 86 percent, of executives who said they are worried about the level of protection for their organization with half saying they will experience more security breaches through mobile devices. Part of the reason organizations are opening themselves up to these risks is because of the growing trend of BYOD – where despite the popularity, almost half believe that supporting a BYOD policy is a risk. A critical element to a successful BYOD or COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) mobile environment is ensuring the isolation and separation of personal and business mobile data, also known as containerization. However, nearly 45 percent have no containerization technology in place.

“The frequency and severity of malicious attacks have made mobile security the center of attention for CEOs and boards of directors, but doing enough to mitigate risk is still a persistent problem that needs to be solved. This is especially true as the constant adoption of new technologies regularly brings the potential for new vulnerabilities, which can offset the benefits,” said David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer at BlackBerry. “We have also heard many of our customers say that security policies can be perceived as a hindrance.

However, senior executives in every function, and even in the boardroom, need to forcefully communicate that effective mobile security enhances productivity instead of obstructing it.”

The research also uncovered that nearly half of organizations do not have a Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) in place, despite the fact that SIRT is an industry best practice to reduce the cost of data breaches. IT decision-makers also want and seek outside help when it comes to securing their mobile environments. Of those surveyed, 59 percent report that external expertise is the best option for reviewing mobile practices.

The numbers are just as pronounced and even more so when analyzing specific industries:

·        Only around four in ten respondents’ organizations have a mobile device management strategy in place. Of these respondents, many felt their organization’s mobile device security strategy is not good enough, specifically:

o   Financial services: 44 percent

o   Government: 52 percent

o   Healthcare: 37 percent

o   Legal: 54 percent

·        Overall, 47 percent believe that popular BYOD policies leave the company vulnerable to too many risks, and those concerns are reflected in different sectors:

o   Financial services: 55 percent

o   Healthcare: 50 percent

o   Government: 43 percent

o   Legal: 53 percent

·        Seventy-three percent see mobile security controls as either an “obstruction” or a “complete obstruction,” and the problems are even worse in some industries:

o   Financial services: 78 percent

o   Healthcare: 78 percent

o   Government: 85 percent

o   Legal: 94 percent

However, there is general agreement that a strong mobile security posture can offer great benefits:

·        67 percent say their data is more secure

·        64 percent see increased mobility for employees

·        51 percent have experienced fewer security breaches

·        50 percent find it easier to comply with regulations

·        Enhanced compliance is a benefit for financial services (55 percent), healthcare (54 percent) and IT/computer services (65 percent)

“All mobile security policies must be consistently evaluated and tweaked, but also regularly overhauled,” added Kleidermacher. “BlackBerry recognizes that security is a dynamic field, and even the best defensive strategies and technologies today may be inadequate tomorrow. Therefore, the optimal strategy is one that secures the mobile enterprise while boosting convenience and productivity, and can then be adapted to combat new vulnerabilities as they arise. BlackBerry continues to integrate key capabilities into its enterprise software portfolio to provide organizations the flexibility they need as they use mobility to empower IT decision makers and employees.”

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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