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BYOD trends expose Kenya to cyber crime

security data 2JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A LOCAL expert has warned companies in Kenya to guard against the threats posed by the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) at workplaces.

Bethwel Opil, the expert raised concern at the fact that while a lot of companies see the BYOD trend, where employees use their personal mobile devices for work purposes, as a growing threat to business, the percentage of companies taking measures to minimise this threat was relatively small.

He said as BYOD became more commonplace in Kenya, and as the number of incidents involving mobile devices grew, ensuring the centralised management of these devices and keeping them secure had become an important and relevant need for businesses today.

“It’s inevitable that in any company, small or large, many employees will use personal devices to connect to the corporate network and access confidential data,” said Opil, the Channel Sales Manager for East Africa at Kaspersky Lab, the cybersecurity company.

Speaking from Kenya, he said for employees, it was natural to use their smartphones and tablets, without even considering the possible dangers.

“That’s why companies need to implement security measures – policies and IT solutions – that safeguard both corporate and personal mobile devices,” added Opil.

He noted however with the uptake of BYOD, security software developers had been working hard to create technologies and software that were collectively termed Mobile Device Management (MDM).

Software using MDM technologies helps to monitor, manage, protect and maintain a broad range of mobile devices, including mobile phones, smartphones and tablet PCs.

“By controlling, protecting and managing data, the risk of compromising the network infrastructure can be dramatically reduced, while at the same time improving the reliability and performance of IT processes,” said Opil.

Opil’s sentiments also follow the emergence of Kenya as a leading IT market exposing the East African country to cybercriminals.

Opil said in Kaspersky Lab experience in Kenya, they had seen companies of all sizes fall victim to IT breaches, cyber espionage and many other types of cyberattacks – with their reputation being at stake.

“Most businesses are just not able to afford a security breach and the repercussion this can have on the business, and the results could mean that the business closes down. The reality is that cybersecurity considerations are just as important as management ones.

CAJ News

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