Security strategies needed to cover future IoT, BYOD culture


The next 5-10 years will see a major upheaval and mobile digitization of the standard workflow for all companies, big and small. That upheaval will bring increased security risks.

A panel discussion held by Dell on July 24, reported on by eWeek, highlighted the difficulties many companies will face when it comes to securing their new mobile networks, and how taking steps now can forestall headaches in the future.

Most experts know the direction the mobile industry is headed in and the implicit threats it entails. However, the typical worker will, as always, be at the forefront of adopting and assimilating the latest technologies.

"The human is still the weakest link in security," said Tim Brown, Dell fellow and executive director of security for Dell's Software Group, according to eWeek. "But humans are also the greatest enablers of security."

All of the panelists were in agreement on the avenues companies should investigate for mobile IT security: a combination of containerization, education and oversight by the IT department.

For small- to medium-sized businesses--unaided by the luxury of large and well-furnished IT outfits--the situation is more dire. When every expense directly affects the bottom line, it is hard to justify allotting much of the budget to potential threats, SMB Group analyst Laurie McCabe said.

Another panelist, Dell senior fellow Don Ferguson, noted that most workers are now acclimated to digital environments and using devices to work more effectively. But the education needs to go a step further and include making good security decisions.

When it comes to devices, Ferguson said it is important that product managers not think of security features as an obligatory add-on, but rather a focal selling point. A more connected world is allowing a "massive number" of machines to communicate--26 billion units by 2020, according to Gartner--but that opens up users to many more security threats.

"The Internet of Things scares me, and my first reaction is to sleep with the lights on," Ferguson said. "But now a kid in China can turn the lights off."

For more:
- read the eWeek coverage of the panel
- read the Gartner press release on its recent IoT report

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