Managing mobile security in South Africa

August 2013 Cyber Security

From smartphones to tablets, mobile devices continue to cause ongoing concern for IT teams responsible for information security. Sensitive corporate information can be easily transported, leaked, or lost while the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has dramatically increased the number of expensive security incidents. Even so, corporate information, including sensitive customer information, is increasingly stored on personal mobile devices and not managed by the corporate IT department.

Check Point Software Technologies recently published its second mobile security report, revealing that the majority of businesses (79%) in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan had a mobile security incident in the past year, with the costs proving substantial. The new report found mobile security incidents tallied up to over six figures for 42% of businesses, including 16% who put the cost at over R5,1 million.

Doros Hadjizenonos, sales manager at Check Point South Africa.
Doros Hadjizenonos, sales manager at Check Point South Africa.

To contextualise these findings for the South African market, Doros Hadjizenonos, sales manager at Check Point South Africa provides insight into trends driving mobile security in South Africa, challenges facing the South African mobile security market, top tips for businesses regarding managing mobile security and predictions for the future of mobile security in the South African market.

1. What are the top three trends driving mobile security in South Africa?

a. The increasing mobility of the work force: The work force is becoming more mobile which means they require information to be available at their fingertips, and as such require a solution to protect this information from getting into the wrong hands. The form factor of these devices makes them more prone to being lost.

b. The rise of mobile device exploits: We are seeing an increase in the number of exploits on mobile devices (especially smartphones) which increases the security risk profile of allowing such devices to connect to the corporate network.

c. Adhering to the Protection of Personal Information Act: The imminent Protection of Personal Information Act will hold companies responsible for loss of personal information. Assuming that these mobile devices have access to personal information about their clients makes it imperative to secure the devices as you would with a laptop or even a desktop.

2. Are the findings of the latest Check Point mobile security report in line with the SA market?

Mostly, yes. I would agree that the number of devices connecting to the corporate network is on the increase – 96% of companies surveyed in the report confirm this. BYOD most definitely creates challenges for security administrators and business owners, where a balance needs to be found between security and convenience. The report found 63% of businesses do not manage corporate information on personal devices, and 93% face challenges adopting BYOD policies.

3. What are the key hurdles or challenges facing the South African mobile security market?

a. The major hurdle that I see is the impact of security exploits on the end user. Security should be a business enabler and not an inhibitor. Users should be able to bring their own device and use it for both personal and business practices, without compromising any functionality.

b. In addition, I believe that users need to be educated on the safe use of mobile devices, creating the need for companies to establish a security awareness programme – ensuring the security message is communicated to all employees.

4. What are your top tips for businesses when it comes to managing mobile security in South Africa?

a. Embark on a mobile security project to ensure that the enterprise data stored on mobile devices is secured. It is vital to choose a solution that minimises the impact on the end user.

b. Ensure there is a security awareness programme to educate users about the risks of mobile devices. This programme should also be extended to cover all devices which connect to the network i.e. tablets, laptops, desktop PCs and notebooks.

5. What are your predications for the future of mobile security in South Africa?

a. I believe that we will continue to see an increase in attacks targeted at mobile devices – smartphones specifically. South Africans have accepted and adopted a mobile device as a primary form of communication and I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. As legislation comes into effect I believe that cor-porates will take mobile security more seriously.

b. The devices that are used in the work place are not always corporate owned devices – making managing BYOD more complicated. Looking ahead, I believe that corporates will place more emphasis on ensuring that corporate data remains secure, but at the same time not prohibiting employees from using their devices for personal use.

As organisations continue to face challenges with mobile threats, the Check Point Mobile Access Software Blade provides a safe and easy solution to connect to corporate applications over the Internet with smartphones, tablets, or PCs. The solution provides enterprise-grade remote access via both Layer-3 VPN and SSL VPN, allowing for simple, safe and secure connectivity to email, calendar, contacts, and corporate applications.

For more information contact Check Point South Africa, +27 (0)11 319 7267,,

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Is your business a cyber target?
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
MJ Strydom, MD of cybersecurity specialist DRS reveals why every business is a breach target in 2020.

Passwordless authentication
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
Thales’s support for Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) 2.0 provides passwordless access to Microsoft Azure Active Directory-connected apps and other services.

Sophos expands MSP programme
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
Sophos MSP Connect Programme premiers new security offerings and PSA/RMM integrations amidst increasing partner demand.

Educating employees about mobile cyber threats
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
While nearly 9 in 10 companies allow employees to access critical business apps using their personal devices, Android-based malware now represents 14% of all cyber threats.

Africa, you’ve been phished
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
The 2019 KnowBe4 African Report across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritius and Botswana has found that Africa is not prepared for cyber risks.

Suprema BioMini Slim 3
Issue 2 2020, Suprema , Cyber Security
Replace passwords by integrating fingerprint biometrics into your solution with BioMini Slim 3 and its easy-to-use SDK.

Understanding evolving cybersecurity needs
Issue 2 2020, Vox Telecom , Cyber Security
In the digitally-connected world with numerous data entry points into the organisation, cybersecurity requires a multi-layered approach.

Coronavirus-themed security attacks on the increase
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
Cybercriminals aren't guided by the same moral compass as the rest of humanity. In fact, they are using the current COVID-19 pandemic to try and break through defences.

Tips on secure remote working
Issue 2 2020 , Cyber Security
NordVPN advises how to stay secure while working from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

What will happen to digital privacy in the upcoming decade?
Issue 2 2020, Kaspersky , Cyber Security
Your data is now everywhere. Your phone. Your smartwatches. Your smart home. And if something goes just a little bit wrong – it will disappear in just one click.