Vancouver Companies Bank On Bring-Your-Own-Device Policies

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The Android ecosystem is more susceptible to malware than iOS

Two Vancouver companies set their sights on the threat of cyber crime to small businesses as employers embrace bring-your-own-device policies

Canada may not seem like a haven for cyber criminals, but according to a new study, we rank No. 3 worldwide as the country of choice for criminals to set up sites with advanced malware. 

And it’s not just major enterprises under threat: small- to medium-sized businesses, ever more dependent on mobile for everything from banking to connecting with customers, face a significant threat from cyber crime. 

Lost employee devices are the biggest security threat to small businesses, says Nick Murray, founder and CEO of MobSafety, a developer of mobile security applications. Even a simple passcode can’t keep your device safe if it’s lost or stolen, he says. 

Protect your mobile device as you would your home computer. “It’s a very scary thing when you think of what we use our mobile devices these days,” he says.

Peter Luong, CEO and founder of FusionPipe Software Solutions, recommends using pinches or complex passwords on mobile devices in case they get lost. Luong also says keeping up to date with the latest version of your operating system and to stay aware of the information you’re storing on third-party apps. 

Many employees use cloud services like Dropbox for working with corporate documents, but once information is stored on a cloud service, it’s no longer under company control, says Luong.

Luong’s company builds software that allows employees to safely and securely access corporate data on their personal devices, building on the bring-your-own-device trend.

“A lot of companies are opening up their environments to bring in consumer type devices—iPhones, iPads and Android—into their corporate network,” says Luong.

Bring your own device (BYOD) can save companies the cost of employee hardware and increase workplace productivity, he says. He points to a 2012 study by chip maker Intel whereby BYOD policies saved the company 2.75 million hours in productivity, which worked out to 57 minutes per employee per day.

The threat of malware to corporate data on employee devices prompted Murray to expand his parental control products into the enterprise space.

MobSafey’s product line includes a special mobile web browser, Ranger, that blocks websites known to contain malware, and restricts employees from accessing websites that are off-limit for employees. It can also prevent devices from leaving a specified geographic area, a technique called geo-fencing.