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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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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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