BlackBerry COO: ‘We are focused on securing the EoT’

Enterprise of Things (EoT) security is already fueling conversations among the IT C-suite, but along with these new opportunities, EoT will represent a growing challenge for all organizations. To succeed in a climate of constantly growing and evolving cyber threats, the EoT needs a layered security approach.

“The proliferation of IoT is being led by enterprises, and they continue to require a unified endpoint management strategy that is capable of scaling to handle billions of connected devices,” said Marty Beard, Chief Operating Officer, BlackBerry Limited. “We are focused on securing the EoT because for all its promise, the expanding adoption of connected things means that companies are only as secure as their most vulnerable endpoint.”

BlackBerry announced findings from a new global research whitepaper, which surveyed IT decision makers on corporate IoT deployments. Conducted by 451 Research, the whitepaper titled, “Securing the Enterprise of Things: Opportunity for securing IoT with a unified platform emerging as IoT popularity grows,” reveals that huge opportunities are balanced against significant cybersecurity concerns.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents indicated interest in a solution that allows them to manage all their endpoints in one place.

Sixty-three percent noted that security is the “top” concern regarding digital technologies and processes. However, only a little over one-third (37 percent) actually have a formal digital transformation strategy in place.

The study also showed that organizations are least prepared against external threats, with nearly two-thirds (61 percent) citing hackers and cyberwarfare as top concerns.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents from very large organizations (more than 10,000 employees) revealed that a lack of collaboration among internal departments is a potential barrier to unified endpoint management, while 51 percent of mid-sized organizations felt the same way.

“The Enterprise of Things (EoT) is a very exciting space,” says Beard in an email interview with Networks Asia.  “While smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are considered as ‘business as usual’, we see a lot of new types of devices being considered in the workplace such as wearables and head-worn glasses.  This is the new normal, and we believe businesses are in a strong position to take advantage of the wide range of possibilities these will offer.”

In the interview with Networks Asia, Beard answers questions about cybersecurity and enterprise mobility management, and divulges the company’s strategy to secure EoT.

We’ve had security education and best practices for so long, so why are employees and enterprises still falling to malware and cyberattacks?

Unfortunately, the reality is that cyberattacks will continue to be a constant threat for businesses and individuals. Employees are not going to stop circulating sensitive documents just because of a perceived security risk. They often have different priorities and don’t consider this risk in the workplace. Additionally, phishing scams and cyber criminals trying to extort data for financial gain are not going anywhere.  It’s a constant battle.

An outright lock down of corporate data is not an option – employees can be remarkably crafty at breaking or circumventing obtuse security when their productivity is at stake. As such, critical files will continue to proliferate across devices and perimeters. To protect the interests of an organization, it’s necessary to implement strong security controls that follow documents wherever they go. Businesses can then ensure that sensitive data is properly protected without impeding their workforce, giving employees the level of access and freedom they demand without putting their data at risk.