Businesses ‘generally aware’ of smartphone threats


Businesses of all sizes are generally aware of the security risks associated with smartphones, a RIM director has claimed.

Speaking at a BlackBerry sponsored panel discussion yesterday, senior director of business marketing for RIM in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Rory O'Neill said many firms understand the risks associated with mobile devices and security will be a growing concern in the business world.

"As the growth of smartphones continues and the types of things people do with smartphones continues, security and other things become really important," O'Neill told IT PRO.

He claimed BlackBerry is ahead of competitors when it comes to security and O'Neill pointed to case studies from across the globe, with RIM phones widely used in governments in the UK and US.

"We think we have architectured our solution in a certain way that it is totally secure from device point of entry through the network, through to transmission, and that is what companies have to think about," he added.

Earlier this year, it emerged the only mobile devices recognised by the UK Government's secure communications department as able to uphold its security standards were BlackBerry ones.

O'Neill also expressed excitement about the BlackBerry 6 OS, which comes with a feature that can split a customer's personal and business phone uses, known as Dual Persona.

"IT teams can carve off sections of databases and lock that down to the enterprise, and have personal profiles on [the phone] where you can access data as if you are a consumer," he explained.

Also present at the event was Simon Howell, client relationship director at accountancy firm taylorcocks, who said his organisation considers smartphone security very seriously, although implementation of this is left up to the IT department.

Even if there is a wide understanding of mobile security issues in enterprises, there are still calls for greater education.

"It is an issue that needs to be talked about," added Gavin May, business development director at Sage.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.