Companies should build defences against cyber threats -- experts [Jordan Times, Amman]
(Jordan Times, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 28--AMMAN -- As some five million malicious websites are created every month, companies in Jordan should be ready to deal with cyber attacks, especially those allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related activities, according to IT experts.
The experts said businesses in Jordan, whether in the banking, financial, health, academic or other sectors, should adopt up-to-date security solutions to prevent any possible breach of their data, especially since the number of employees using their personal devices for work-related activities is on the rise in the country and the rest of the Middle East.
"Businesses and organisations in Jordan and the Middle East should be ready to deal with the increasing cyber threat, which is becoming inevitable," Nassir Nauthoa, general manager of Gulf countries at Intel Corporation, told The Jordan Times during a session at the GITEX Technology Week 2013 held in Dubai last week.
About 100,000 malicious software programmes are created every day, and the losses to organisations and countries due to cyber crimes exceed $1 trillion annually, which is double the volume of illegal trading in drugs worldwide, Nauthoa said, noting that businesses in the country should be on alert to deal with a growing global cyber threat.
"Allowing employees to use personal devices for work increases productivity; however, businesses should be ready and have strategies in place to deal with threats," Nauthoa added.
During the session, Osama Rasoul, sales manager at Cisco Systems Inc., said firms in Jordan and the region cannot fully prevent employees' access to the office network through their personal devices.
"Employees can always get devices or install apps on their devices, which will give them access to the Wi-Fi network without their employers' knowledge," he noted.
"Therefore, the best scenario is to allow employees to use their devices... but at the same time secure [their] access to the network," Rasoul said.
Using personal devices at the office, both for work-related activities and personal usage, is on the rise in the Middle East, he added, citing the Middle East ICT Security study unveiled by Cisco during GITEX Technology Week.
The study showed that 65 per cent of employees in the Middle East are putting their companies at risk by not understanding the security implications of using personal devices in the workplace.
It also indicated that about 46 per cent of all employees in the region bring at least one unsecured device to work.
About 56 per cent of employees access social media sites at least once a day using a company device.
Almost two-thirds, or 64 per cent, of employees in the region are allowed to use their own devices to access the company server or network, according to the study.
"Businesses need to control employees' usage of office computers to prevent any damage to their data or business. [They] can -- for example -- allow staff to use computers for personal reasons such as accessing social networks but give them access only to read, not to comment," Rasoul said.
"Employees can cause harm to their companies without knowing if they access malicious websites from their personal devices using the office network," he added.
The Cisco study showed that only 55 per cent of companies in the Middle East have a plan in place to manage the use of these devices when used for work purposes.
According to the study, 65 per cent of employees do not realise the dangers of using their own devices at work.
Only 50 per cent of companies in the region have "specific restrictions that are clearly communicated to all employees" on this subject.
The study also indicated that 85 per cent of employees in the Middle East said they were allowed to use company-issued computers for personal reasons, with only half of the surveyed companies having implemented specific security restrictions on devices and communicated the importance of ICT security to employees.
(c)2013 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan)
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