AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, the distributor of the award-winning AVG anti-virus and Internet security software in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, warns the BYOD 'Bring Your Own Device' to work phenomenon is catching SMBs off guard and exposing them to malware attacks and other cyber crime.
The trend, dubbed by analysts as the 'consumerisation of IT', has seen staff in rapidly growing numbers bringing their own mobile devices to work and using them for business purposes. AVG (AU/NZ) says companies of all sizes should be re-evaluating how they protect business-critical data and manage IT equipment use.
One of the major factors in this area is the meteoric rise in popularity of the tablet PC. The use of iPads, Blackberry Playbooks and all manner of Android-powered mobile devices is catching the comparatively slower moving business IT world off guard.
AVG (AU/NZ) warns that too few companies have policies governing how employees use tablets and smartphones. Workers are bringing these devices into the workplace and connecting them to the company's Wi-Fi network. This not only provides them with access to the Internet, but it also allows the workers to synchronise these devices with company computers. All of this is happening without any additional layers of security control being put in place to lock down their impact.
Lloyd Borrett, Security Evangelist at AVG (AU/NZ), said, "With tablet PCs and smartphones now starting to populate SMB offices and operations, we need to question whether workers are now replacing management and IT managers as the true IT decision makers."
Recent research by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of AVG Technologies has some telling indicators for the way IT is being managed. The research found that less than half (43 per cent) of consumers surveyed considered security features to be important when deciding which smartphone to purchase. Only 19 per cent have passwords and a meagre 10 per cent have both keypad locks and passwords.
The business IT security solution must then include anti-virus protection, such as AVG Mobilation for Android smartphones and tablets, to automate the protection of these devices and the business data that inevitably ends up on them. This cloud-based technology is simple to use, always up-to-date, plus light on device resources and battery life.
Borrett said: "If businesses work smart and use technologies like this, then they can keep even the newest and most unpredictable attacks in check."
To help SMBs address the policy, technology and process issues involved, AVG has created the AVG Small Business Security Guide which provides some simple but effective steps small business owners can take to secure their business. Plus AVG's Business Resource Centre has a library of guides and tools that can help you protect your business from identity theft, data breaches, online banking break-ins and other computer crimes.
Keep in touch with AVG (AU/NZ)