Feb 072013

Blue Coat executives Albert Kuo, Vice President, Asia Pacific Field Operations of Blue Coat Systems Singapore (left) and Jonathan Andersen, Director for Product Marketing in Asia Pacific, during a press conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City, Philippines. TAM NODA

MANILA, Philippines — US-based Web security company Blue Coat Inc.  on Thursday identified  seven bring-your-own-device (BYOD) traffic disruptors that cause IT nightmares among enterprise networks.

Blue Coat referred to activities and content sites that take up valuable Wide Area Network (WAN) and internet bandwidth and disrupt the performance of mission-critical enterprise applications.

Jonathan Andersen, Blue Coat’s Director for Product Marketing in Asia Pacific, reported recreational web browsing and multimedia traffic caused by the use of applications on personal BYOD smartphones and tablets take up between 30 percent and 60 percent of the total bandwidth.

The “always on” connectivity was also cited to drive greater threat risk.

“Employees don’t have much security on their phones. They spend an average of 1.5 hours of web browsing using their mobile devices,” said Andersen, noting the users’ vulnerability to phishing attacks.

The seven identified BYOD concerns are: BYOD device OS updates and upgrades; app downloads; photo and video uploads and downloads; BYOD backup to cloud storage or a company-issued laptop or desktop; watching recreational video on YouTube; Facetime and Skype video/audio conferencing; and guest wireless.

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On OS updates and upgrades issues alone, Blue Coat said  a single BYOD device can easily overwhelm network bandwidth with one click and corporate networks and applications  will suffer.

 Blue Coat, Andersen said, addresses these issues by  extending security to mobile devices via cloud computing solution to protect users against web viruses,  and enable filtering, among others.

“Here in the Philippines you have 30 million Facebook users or 98 percent of your online population. And Facebook is used by many for business,” Andersen said, stressing  the importance of adding security to mobile devices.

Blue Coat said among the common practice of cyber attacks today are Advanced Persistent Threats or APTs described as well-researched and highly coordinated attacks designed to circumvent technical, procedural and user training defense mechanisms.

Unlike mass-market malware attacks, APTs are not crimes of opportunity. They are targeted, specialized attacks against specific organizations or groups, and typically blend a broad range of common malware, phishing, hacking, spying and other tools together in a well-orchestrated operation.

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