HP’s John O’Reilly explains why effective mobile productivity starts with robust security protection
As cyber criminals become more advanced and able to strike at the heart of an organisation, the IT department is facing increased pressure to respond to this ever-growing threat. Furthermore, a string of high profile corporate attacks over the last 12 months have further highlighted the potential damage that an attack can have on an organisation and their external reputation.
On average mobile professionals are now spending 40 percent-60 percent of their time away from their desks, and as a result they are exposed to even more threats when working outside of their organisation’s infrastructure.
In an attempt to regain control, the IT department is focusing on the end-user device to ensure that data is kept secure.
In 2015, whilst 34.2 percent of user computers were subjected to at least one web attack over the year, IT decision makers have expressed concerns that it’s nearly impossible to protect against every attack, citing security concerns as their biggest challenge to mobility adoption.
Companies spend an average annualised cost of $7.6 million to respond to cybercrime incidents. These costs will only spiral upwards as IT scrambles to ensure the protection and security of sensitive and confidential information on multiple devices, especially personal smartphones and tablets. As always, IT decision makers worry about employee devices being damaged, lost, or stolen, whether in customer meeting rooms or at airports – but security is largely invisible to end users. Despite the security challenges, IT has to ensure employees have devices that delight them and that have 24/7 support from London, Lancashire to Luton.
For IT decision makers, security and manageability are the top concerns for driving more mobile productivity. Throughout a given day, they’re dealing with the latest virus or BIOS attack, managing user access and password resets, and making sure their global fleet has the latest security patch. Handling security and managing devices can be overwhelming without the right tools and therefore it becomes even more important that the devices are also designed to help support the IT department.
IT demands tighter security and easier maintainability through features that are designed to work together to protect the device, data, and user identity. For example, a unique feature that makes the HP Elite x2 1012 (pictured below) so secure is the HP-proprietary BIOS. It is the same BIOS that is used in other commercial Elite notebook lines and allows IT to manage the HP Elite x2 1012 the same way they manage all other HP Elite notebooks.
To manage the device and to monitor its health, HP BIOSphere enables IT to remotely configure BIOS settings and get proactive device health alerts no matter where users are. IT can also wake up and remotely manage devices over wired and wireless networks and push security updates the same way as their other commercial devices using standard desktop management tools like LANDesk or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.
For customers short on IT resources there are also cloud-based applications that allow troubleshooting and management of all devices in their network from a single location. This also allows IT departments to troubleshoot and manage in real-time all PCs as well as smartphones, whether Windows, Android, or iOS. For an extra layer of protection beyond passwords, credential manager systems combined with integrated fingerprint reader or smart card reader means IT can easily enable multi-factor user authentication to log onto devices.
HP has also integrated HP Sure Start, an unbreakable BIOS that allows IT to avoid blue-screen situations while upgrading the BIOS and at the same time protect the device from malicious attacks. To deal with the threats at the BIOS level and keep mobile users safe, HP Sure Start checks to see if the BIOS has been compromised when a device boots, changes state and every fifteen minutes whilst running. If it determines the corruption of an attack, the device will restore and seal-itself by loading a clean copy of the BIOS store in a protected part of the system.
The latest commercial IT products need to be designed with device security as part of their DNA. For IT Managers, they can at least be confident that their devices are secure and will not be the cause of their company being added to the growing list of victims of enterprise cyber-attacks.
John O’Reilly is director of corporate, enterprise & public sector and personal systems at HP.
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