Woking, Surrey: 21st November, 2011 - The proliferation of smartphones is now putting companies, whose security was previously watertight, at risk, claimed Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of VAD Wick Hill Group, specialists in secure infrastructure solutions and convergence.
Kilpatrick was speaking as the company announced a new partnership with US vendor Fiberlink, to distribute the MaaS360 mobile device management solution, a range of cloud-based products for managing and securing mobile devices (principally smartphones and tablets) in the UK.
“Despite multiple mobile device loss and security breaches, and the recent events at News International,” said Kilpatrick, “UK business has still not taken on board the security risks of unfettered use of mobile devices such as smartphones.”
The problem has increased exponentially because smartphone and mobile device use has mushroomed in the last couple of years. According to Gartner, sales of mobile devices in the second quarter of 2011, grew 16.5 percent year-on-year. Smartphone sales grew 74 percent year-on-year and accounted for 25 percent of overall sales in the second quarter of 2011, up from 17 percent in the second quarter of 2010.
Kilpatrick pointed out that users just don’t seem to recognise that today’s smartphone has the same sort of power that laptops had just a few years ago. 32Gb of storage and up to 1Gb of RAM is common. Smartphones are effectively small computers on which you can have a telephone conversation. Tablets too have similar storage and memory capabilities.
And like laptops, said Kilpatrick, smartphones need protection from hackers and criminals if they are lost or stolen. They are at risk from malware and viruses, and they are at risk when they connect into the company network.
Kilpatrick highlighted the difficulties companies face. “The problem for companies today,” he said, “is not just the insecurity of the individual smartphone, it is also the sheer numbers of them, the diversity of operating environments (Android, IOS, etc.) and the fact that employees use smartphones for both personal and business activity. It makes it difficult to monitor and track all the smartphones that are being used to store company data and access the company network, which causes major security issues.”
The MaaS360 solution
New Wick Hill vendor Fiberlink has developed a range of cloud-based mobile device management, security and compliance solutions, principally for smartphones and tablets, which deal with the issues highlighted by Kilpatrick.
Fiberlink’s MaaS360 Mobile Device Management platform provides comprehensive capabilities to help manage smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Features include over-the-air enrolment of devices, remote wipe so corporate data can be removed if devices are lost or stolen, and detailed visibility into all devices for security policy management.
MaaS360’s Mobile App Management capabilities help protect mobile devices by managing the apps on them. The solution provides an easy-to-use enterprise apps catalogue, with full operational and lifecycle management of apps across mobile device platforms. Features include mobile app security and compliance management, mobile app distribution through the cloud, and a web-based management console.
MaaS360 also provides a range of end-to-end security and compliance management capabilities. Features include enforcement of pass code policies and strong encryption keys to protect sensitive personal and business data, the ability to configure device restrictions to meet the highest enterprise security standards, and the ability to continuously monitor devices to ensure total compliance.
“With MaaS360, organisations can monitor and control their mobile devices from one, easy-to-use management console, making it simple to embrace personal iPhones, iPads, and Androids,” said Steve Hammond, president international sales for Fiberlink. “Through an innovative cloud delivery model, MaaS360 lets companies deploy and manage mobile devices and applications in minutes, reducing the cost of supporting the new mobile enterprise. It’s truly the only way to effectively manage these devices.”
Smartphones need to be protected
Kilpatrick concluded: "For organisations to remain secure, both personal and business mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets need to be protected, they need to be managed and they need to be included in company security policies. Otherwise, previously secure companies could find themselves embarrassed, fined and suffering financial loss from the results of unmanaged, insecure smartphone and mobile device use."
About Wick Hill
Established in 1976, value added distributor Wick Hill specialises in secure IP infrastructure solutions and convergence. The company sources and delivers best-of-breed, easy-to-use solutions through its channel partners, with a portfolio that covers security, performance, access, networking, convergence and hosted solutions.
Wick Hill is part of the Wick Hill Group, based in Woking, Surrey with sister offices in Hamburg. Wick Hill is particularly focused on providing a wide range of value added support for its channel partners. This includes a strong lead generation and conversion programme, technical and consultancy support for reseller partners in every stage of the sales process, and extensive training facilities.
Fiberlink is the recognized leader in software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for secure enterprise mobile device and application management. Its cloud-based MaaS360 platform provides IT organizations with mobility intelligence and control over mobile devices, applications and content to enhance the mobile user experience and keep corporate data secure across smartphones, tablets, and laptops. MaaS360 helps companies monitor the expanding suite of mobile operating systems, including Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. Named by Network World as the Clear Choice Test winner for mobile device management solutions, MaaS360 is used to manage and secure more than one million endpoints globally.
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