Christy Wyatt: 2014 will go down as the year of the cyber attack...but it’s only just begun

Picture credit: Good Technology

For Christy Wyatt, CEO and president of enterprise mobility management provider Good Technology, 2014 was both a success and a challenge. From the company’s standpoint, the release of products such as Good Work, and the continued push to Good Dynamics, increased momentum, alongside the acquisitions of BoxTone, Fixmo and Macheen.

Yet from a mobile security perspective, 2014 saw unprecedented threats, from Masque to NotCompatible.C. Mike Raggo, security evangelist at MobileIron, noted mobility is “the perfect breeding ground” for attacks in 2015, and Wyatt sees a similar theme developing.

“More than ever, people are paying attention, and they’re starting to talk about it, which is a healthy thing,” she tells Enterprise AppsTech. “But I think as we go through 2015, we’re going to see more and more.

“This is the realisation that all data matters, and that you need to protect it wherever it happens to be.”

The vendor landscape is at a curious tipping point. For EMM vendors, such as Good, there are several features which analysts agree should be pivotal for an overall solution; mobile device management (MDM), mobile app management (MAM), mobile app development platforms (MADP), network access security, and so on. A lot of these reports see the likes of McAfee and Symantec on the edge of the winner’s enclosure, which suggests the traditional EMM players need to up their game on security. As one analyst recently told this reporter, because of the established security firms, nobody in EMM owns security right now.

This plays into another trend Wyatt envisages in 2015; the Internet of Things as an enabler for attacks. As she explains, the buzzword at CES this year was ‘connected’, and it’s a key segment for the enterprise.

“I think our vision has been that these organisations have these multitude of connected things, and then it becomes harder and harder to understand where your data is, and that introduces a much greater opportunity for folks that are trying to get in,” she says. “In 2015, we’ll see the creativity continue to go on.”

Education, education, education

It’s all well and good discussing hacking and cyber attacks, but more often than not, it’s a company’s own employees who are the biggest data to corporate data leakage. Dependent on what you read, a quarter of employees are unaware of their employer’s BYOD policy, while nine out of 10 employees have passwords for corporate apps after they’ve left the company in question.

Good tries to abate this, as we reported back in December, by putting up mobility posters, or have rooms away from the hustle and bustle of the office where employees can either trade in their old phones or learn more about policies.

Wyatt explains she was visiting a customer who gives each employee a book. “It’s not ‘how to use Good’ or what you need to understand about security, but it’s ‘here’s new ways to do your job, store things, open things or edit things’; instead of this paper process, you can now go here,” she says.

“This re-education of both the new models, the way enterprises are transforming themselves to mobility, is critical to mobility strategies being successful.”

The Good CEO adds that, in mitigation, enterprises are going to have more conversations with their employees over security best practice. Don’t forward documents to your cloud account, don’t put 1234 in as your password, and the like.

“Phishing is a great example,” Wyatt says. “You look at the Sony attack, one of the big contributors was the use of phishing. Well that’s going after the average user, sending them an email saying [they’ve] won the lottery. You click on that and you have no idea what you just compromised for the organisation.

“So there is a dialogue there that folks need to be having with their employers.”

Managing the telecoms expense

One other string which EMM vendors increasingly need to have in their bow is telecoms expense management (TEM). Leaving the path ambiguous is a ticking time bomb for organisations – and could seriously hurt them in the pocket too, if recent court rulings are anything to go by.

Earlier this month Good unveiled Good Work With Data, incorporating some of the split billing technology from the acquisition of Macheen. Using the solution, employees can take work calls and not have it impact their personal data plans. For Wyatt, it breaks down one of the last inhibitions to BYO adoption.

“I hear a lot from customers – should I do BYO or buy my employees devices? Very often they get into a conversation about the service,” she explains. “Then when a company starts to parse it out, they’re in an uncomfortable position where not only do they have this influx of devices which on its own increase the telecom expense within an organisation, but they also have the complexity of figuring out what was personal, what was business, do I pay for anything,” she adds.

There are other billing solutions, such as giving employees different numbers of applications related to their job, which solve the problem and doesn’t mean forking out stipends, or picking through a phone bill each month with a fine toothcomb.

“It opens up a whole host of new enterprise mobility opportunities,” Wyatt adds.

 

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