Choice, Security and the Cyber Ogre

Posted on October 28, 2014

This Halloween, the cautionary warning for businesses of all size is: Beware of the cyber ogre!

What's a cyber ogre? It's the growing threat to businesses of all kinds posed by the need to balance employee choice in mobile devices with the very real threat from criminals intent on stealing company data.

Ben Fried, CIO at Google, told the Wall Street Journal recently that "The conventional wisdom of our industry is that we can't have efficiency and choice, we can't have security and choice. I have discovered during my time at Google that is a complete falsehood."The long interview with Google's CIO includes a number of important lessons about mobile devices, security, and employee choice.

As a graphic published with the article pointed out, the decision to allow employee choice while maximizing security is an important one for companies of all sizes since laptop and desktop sales are expected to remain flat or decline slightly through 2018, while sales of mobile devices continue to rise.

Beating the Cyber Ogre, One Device at a Time

Prat Agarwal, director of business development at secure mobile printing leader Breezy, points out that employee choice is a reality for 89% of U.S. companies. "Employees will bring their own smartphones or tablets into the office, and they will use them for work-related tasks,"Agarwal says. "So securing them is an important part of keeping business data safe."

Insurance industry consultants New Agency Partners recently published an infographic where it calls the mobile security threat for business the cyber ogre "a new threat which the company says is going to be around for a long time to come.

The insurance industry trade publication Property Casualty 3600 reported recently that 58% of tablet users print work-related documents from their tablets, and that an easy transition from digital to paper documents is essential in their industry. "The insurance industry isn't the only place where it's critical to be able to easily transform digital information into printed form,"Agarwal adds.

The article goes on to address the issue of security by noting that, "The influx of mobile devices in the office leads to increased security threats as more smartphones, tablets, laptops and even consumer gadgets connect to the company networks and servers. The average organization cost per incident of corporate information theft is $5.4 million. Most corporate data breaches are caused by human error."Rather than ignoring or discouraging mobile devices in the office, companies must develop a security strategy and upgrade security protocols to manage the increased risk.

The right "behind-the-desk technologies"such as multifunction printers and enterprise mobility management tools that secure private and confidential information can help ensure that the print environment is protected from external breaches. "The Internet of Things (IoT) now links all kinds of devices to the global network, so a secure mobile printing solution creates an essential safety net,"Agarwal says.

Who's At Risk from the Cyber Ogre"

According to New Agency Partners, businesses most at risk for a costly data breach are:

"I wasn't surprised to see law firms on the list,"Agarwal said. "Breezy was founded when our CEO, Jared Hansen, couldn't find a secure way for his law firm to print emails and other documents from mobile phones. And, if you look at the list, these are exactly the kind of businesses most likely to have a large amount of personally identifiable data about customers such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other valuable information that criminals want."

The most important ways to protect valuable data without restricting employee choice, Agarwal says, include:

For more information on secure mobile printing, watch this video from Breezy, or download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.

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