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News

Bell Micro Warns Of Emerging Netpad Based Threats

Bell Micro : 12 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
With the increased use of devices bridging the gap between notebooks and smart phones, Bell Micro is warning of a new generation of malware threats targeting such devices
The security division of specialist value-added distributor Bell Micro has warned of the security implications as a result of the proliferation of netpad devices. With the iPad currently closing the gap between laptops and smart-phones, 2010 will see the start of the introduction of an entire raft of new portable hardware that further increases the drive towards remote system access but also further exacerbates security threats, and potential data losses.

"These new netpad devices are powerful, fashionable and extremely vulnerable to loss and theft," said Ed Callacher, Divisional Director for Security and Networking at Bell Micro. "The real danger however is from the 'Magpie effect' whereby the demand for such shiny new technology outstrips the consideration of the increased security risks associated with them and the resulting impact that this could have on the corporate network. The introduction of such devices into a business brings with them an urgency to drive all IT managers to now reconsider their security at three separate levels - the system, the user and the data."

When providing access to data, IT managers need to be able to make sure that the people attempting to enter the system are actually who they say they are and two factor identification becomes crucial. As the environment also needs to able to disable remote products when a loss, theft or breach is identified it's important that the devices are registered, and tracked accordingly.

"Responsibility then moves to the employees that are using these mobile devices as they become required to be up to speed on both security and stolen equipment protocols," continues Callacher.

All that said, the arrival of new portable connected hardware brings with it an enormous opportunity for resellers to work with their customers to increase the level of education in relation to the potential exposure to risk through data loss, and then develop and enforce policies to mitigate that risk.

"DLP issues originate from broken business policies which in turn can lead to a security breach. For those customers who implement DLP to ensure that valuable, business critical, data is not lost, we would expect to see in excess of an 80% risk reduction in a matter of weeks," Callacher concluded.
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