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BYOD now for all

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The BYOD evolution demands that organisations need to properly control information. This has resulted in a greater focus on implementing management tools that provide IT executives with the control they need, says CHARLENE MUNILALL of Huawei.

With the whole bring-your-own-device (BYOD) debate largely settled through generally widespread adoption of the concept within the enterprise market, many organisations face the question: what now?

This can be a daunting prospect for companies not prepared for a world in which they have to accept that they have only nominal control over corporate information. The focus therefore needs to shift to what can be controlled, and what to do in the event that physical control is lost.

This latter scenario is one that exposes organisations to all manner of threats to the security of corporate information that extend well beyond passwords and financial data. Legislation like the Protection of Personal Information Act places increasingly onerous demands on companies to protect the information of customers and individuals.

What this calls for is the seemingly impossible task of knowing what information is contained on a device, where that device is at any given moment, and in whose possession it is.

The certainty that an IT executive would previously handover the security of information can be had if a suitably secure and reliable mobile device management (MDM) tool is used to administer the multitude of devices now used to access corporate information.

Both the functionality and security of these types of systems have matured with tremendous speed as BYOD has been more widely adopted.

So much so that enterprises have the same line of sight as if the device and information were contained within the enterprise network.

And largely because the leading MDM tools never allow the information to physically reside on the mobile device. This functionality has been facilitated by cloud-based services that provide ease of access without breaking the corporate network-mobile device barriers.

In instances where corporate information is stored on a device, the MDM should at the very least also provide a sandbox environment that provides a clear separation between corporate and personal information.

To ensure true peace of mind, however, requires that any connections to the enterprise system is sufficiently encrypted to provide the necessary levels of security. In addition, such connections should be secured with protection against viruses and the legion of vulnerabilities that corporate networks are subjected to.

Leading MDM tools come to the fore in protecting companies in the unfortunate eventuality of a device being lost or compromised.

While remote access and wiping of critical information is at the forefront of this type of functionality, geolocation services is as important in apprehending culprits or at the very least recovering lost or stolen devices.

With these types of tools and functionality readily available from leading vendors such as Huawei, IT executives have a greater degree of certainty over the security of their information in this era of constant mobility and demand for access at all times, from anywhere.

* Charlene Munilall, General Manager, Huawei Consumer Business Group, South Africa

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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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