The Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)'s Privacy Awareness Week is on again across the country and Dell has offered tips for consumers and business on how to stay safe.
The unprecedented levels of personal information stored on mobile devices cause huge privacy concerns according to Dell general manager for end user computing, Jeff Morris.
“Our mobile devices know more about us than ever before. We can use them to track our health and fitness levels, make mobile payments and control our household thermostats. But the unprecedented levels of personal information stored on these devices cause huge privacy concerns for people who use them for work,” he said.
Morris said effective security measures are especially important for companies with a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy.
“BYOD is a popular style for work for many Australian businesses and, with an increased blurring of the lines between work and play, there are employee concerns that their privacy is at risk.
"If employees believe their personal information can be accessed or monitored by IT, they are likely to work around security policies. But while ensuring privacy is important, you also need to protect the enterprise information accessed from and residing on employees’ mobile devices.
"Creating a secure enterprise workspace on personal devices can help address privacy concerns. The workspace separates enterprise data and applications from personal ones. As a result, personal data and apps can’t mix with or capture enterprise information. This approach protects employee privacy, since IT manages only the secure workspace. By contrast, traditional MDM solutions allow IT to control the entire device and access all the data on it.”
Social media on smartphones is a hacker’s dream
Dell Software ANZ managing director, Ian Hodge, added that many people take security for granted and this coupled with growing social media and mobility trends, means there are huge risks involved in respect to security and privacy.
“If we continue the trends of smart device, social media and mobility adoption, we could see a future where things like identity theft, ransomware, data theft and fraud are commonplace.
"If a smart device is lost and your social identities are automatically logged in, cyber criminals can obtain a plethora of information and gain access to businesses and end-users most valuable possession – their data.
"Online trust needs to be bolstered by demonstrating the commerce sites are well protected irrespective how they are accessed, from both a corporate and consumer perspective. Hacking is a clear and present danger for organisations that store customer databases and credit card information. And it’s not just a monetary issue, the impact of being hacked has wider implications. Online shopping, for example, may suffer credibility issue, as people will not be confident to share their personal and financial details.”
Cybercrime market boom means privacy is more important than ever
Dell SecureWorks general manager and director, Simon Ractliffe, said online privacy and ensuring all your entities are secure has never been more important in the wake of the explosion of cybercrime.
“The underground [cybercrime] markets are booming with counterfeit documents including new identity kits, passports, utility bills, social security cards and driver’s licenses. These documents enable many kinds of in-person fraud, whether it is buying a high-end purchase with a duplicated credit card, applying for bank loans or attempting government fraud.
"It’s clear the underground [cybercriminals] are monetising every piece of data they can steal or buy. Additionally, they are beginning to sell the tools to enable would-be hackers to progress and commit opportunistic crimes, as well as conduct online and in-person fraud. Malware, infected computers, walkthrough guides and even [cyber criminals]-for-hire, are all available to purchase on the underground [cybercrime] market.
"In order to prevent this criminal activity and ensure your sensitive information stays private, it is essential organisations, as well as individuals, stay aware of the threat and implement proactive measures to ward against the loss of data,” he said.