Bring Your Own Disruption: Why NZ security execs must be stronger

Wandering down Auckland’s Queen Street during rush hour, as swathes of business folk walk, talk, text and email, it’s clear to see the evolution of mobility in the workplace.

Wandering down Auckland’s Queen Street during rush hour, as swathes of business folk walk, talk, text and email, it’s clear to see the evolution of mobility in the workplace.

But despite workers unshackling from their desks and working on the go, when it comes to the Bring Your Own Device craze sweeping New Zealand, Juraj Malcho, Chief Research Officer, ESET bucks the trend.

“As a security officer I cannot advise this,” says Malcho, speaking to Reseller News during a whistle-stop visit Down Under last week, “in fact, security personnel within organisations should be stronger.”

Yet Malcho, with over a decade of anti-virus expertise to draw upon, accepts the Bring Your Own Disruption trend, as he prefers to call it, has invaded the office place and despite growing concerns around security, is here to stay.

“What I find bizarre is security decision-makers allow staff to bring their own devices to work then enforce policies which restrict their use,” he questions, “does it make sense for a user to buy something fancy even though they can’t run applications on it?”

In representing ESET, which boasts an extensive partner and reseller network spanning more than 180 countries worldwide, Malcho is unequivocal in his belief that organisations across New Zealand, and the world, must sharpen their edge when it comes to security, rather than falling into the common trap of acceptance.

Dismissing the notion that anti-virus is dead, a move championed by Symantec security expert Brian Dye - despite accounting for 40% of the company’s revenue as of 2013 - Malcho believes the ongoing security issues which accompany businesses during their move to BYOD should be better managed at a decision-making level.

“Most people think that because today companies get breached and it’s a fact, they should accept it,” he adds. “But does that mean you drop your defence? Absolutely not.

“People die in car crashes but they continue to wear seat belts - organisations must take greater care in this respect.

“Accept it okay, but at least be as prepared as you possibly can be and certainly don’t knowingly approve or rollout business plans which lower your defences.”

On the topic of anti-virus, Malcho believes catching or blocking malware is just part of the security challenge, at home or in the workplace, with malware detection is a very different technology to what it was 20 years ago.

“Anti-malware technology moved on long ago,” explains Malcho, who insists that despite this, customer and media perception continues to lag way behind.

Echoing previous ESET findings around anti-virus and its primary functions, Malcho says the software provides “protection, detection and remediation.”

“It’s critical to still install security software,” Malcho urges, “and the beauty of anti-virus is that it is not going to bother the user.

“That’s the point of it - to protect users in the background - people want to install security software and forget about it, they just trust that this will improve security.

“Even if you’re an expert, you can still get infected. Incidents can happen to anybody.”

Since 2001, Auckland-based specialist security distributor Chillisoft has been the exclusive ESET distributor in New Zealand and Oceania and is now also a preferred distribution partner in Australia.

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