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BYOD, remote workforces, put businesses at risk

Kirsten Doyle
By Kirsten Doyle, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 06 Oct 2021

The increased dependence on digital technologies for remote communications has presented critical cyber security challenges for organisations in every sector.

For example, remote and hybrid work has accelerated BYOD (bring your own device) and the use of consumer-grade messaging apps such as WhatsApp for internal communications, which puts organisations at huge risk.

In addition, it is estimated that global cybercrime costs will grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

So says Anurag Lal, president and CEO of NetSfere, discussing the cyber security threats and trends we are seeing in 2021.

“Unsecure collaboration apps such as WhatsApp, Slack, Facebook and SMS, all of which collect consumer data, are putting compliance with data privacy regulations at risk as well as increasing the risk of a data breach,” he says.

Enterprises should be communicating and collaborating through communication platforms that have enterprise-level security and data protection, including global cloud-based service availability, device-to-device encryption, location-based features and administrative controls.

Lal cites the rise of BYOD, which he says is putting enterprises at risk through the use of personal devices and by these devices connecting to unsecure WiFi networks and hotspots, again hugely increasing the risk for data breaches.

“Not complying with laws and regulations which are continuing to evolve as we press forward in this digital age is also endangering businesses,” he adds. “Enterprises are struggling to keep pace with an ever-widening landscape of regulatory mandates. These mandates, which are now more consistently enforced, require enterprises to take a strategic and measured approach to compliance, including implementing robust administrative, technical and physical IT controls.”

To manage the shift towards remote workforces, and the accelerated digital transformation that goes hand in hand with them, will require a total reboot of policies and security tools suitable for the modern remote workspace, he says.

“To evolve with the mobile-centric era, companies must take proactive approaches to securing workplace communications,” says Lal. “They must institute a holistic policy-based approach to security, administrative control and regulatory compliance in the context of mobile messaging.”