WWT Talks With Forbes on UK's Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017

Mike McGlynn, VP of security solutions at WWT, talks complexities of securing IoT projects and BYOD programs.

Apr 19, 2017 3 minute read

Posted by Forbes on April 19, 2017:

This survey demonstrates the soft underbelly of U.K. business in terms of its vulnerability to cyber-attacks, according to systems integrator World Wide Technology (WWT).

Moving forward, a headlong leap into poorly-defined Internet of Things (IoT) projects and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) working practices may be putting more firms in danger of an attack, it suggests. Today’s report shows that 46% of U.K. businesses are exposed to the security risks of BYOD, rising to 57% in web-orientated firms.

“The range of devices being exposed to the internet are usually not known for having mature security software, and are often in a vulnerable state. Even their manufacturers may not be in a position to regularly patch software in order to protect against online threats, let alone the enterprises that adopt these devices" says Mike McGlynn, Vice President, Security Solutions at World Wide Technology.

“It is encouraging that businesses are increasingly getting to grips with basic things like resetting default passwords or downloading software updates, often as part of a BYOD policy" he says. "But the device management task involved in some IoT projects is on a scale unlike anything most enterprise networks have tackled so far. Currently, most device management applications are designed for tablets and smartphones which have much more predictable behavior. They now suddenly have to deal with the number and variety of devices being connected: a smart building initiative, which uses sensors in one fixed location, creates a very different security challenge than a global supply chain project" he adds.

The report highlights the importance of cyber security risks related to BYOD for the information, communications or utilities sectors, as they have a higher-than-average reliance on online services and a higher prevalence on BYOD.

But while BYOD has certainly proved a challenge for many organizations, it is the predicted explosion of connected devices — to reach 20.8 billion globally by 2020 — that means that "companies must take a holistic approach to cyber security which prepares them to resist attacks at the endpoint, network, cloud, and application layers" says Mr McGlynn.

A "holistic approach to cyber security" would also be an enlightened route to better corporate governance. Too often senior management in charge at the time of data breaches and consumer cost that is not immediately quantifiable , then walk away from a disaster with big pay packages — and no accountability.

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