Azzurri Communications’ CEO has told Mobile that ‘the importance of security is
underestimated and underinvested’.
In light of the recent cyber-attacks on Carphone Warehouse, Chris Jagusz said that security will be a ‘wake-up call’ for the industry. He doesn’t believe that change will come overnight, but that it will start with companies investing more in user training.
He said: ‘The recent Carphone Warehouse attacks will be a wake-up call for a lot of boards who will have read the weekend papers and be thinking “how do I know that this won’t happen to us?”. They’ll be asking challenging questions to their CIOs, however I don’t think it will trigger a knee-jerk investment in security. A lot of corporates are very aware of the risks, but this might boost investment in security technology, and encourage a renewed focus on user training.’
Jagusz explained that security issues are especially problematic in companies operating a bring-your-own device (BYOD) scheme. He said: ‘In mobile the biggest shift is towards data usage, the greater use of mobile and the deployment of device management. I don’t buy the argument that BYOD can sort out a lot of IT problems, my experience is that it creates a lot of problems.
‘I hear the hype of BYOD enhancing productivity and users who bring their own devices into work feeling more productive, but equally there is great productivity to be had when you have users having a consistent technology and a limited supply base. However, a lot of it is down to user behaviour, like putting passwords onto locked screens. I’ve seen users just forward emails to use on their personal emails, but if they forward sensitive data it’s a problem.
‘That’s been one of the challenges for chief information officers, people see fantastic devices and want to use them in the workplace as productivity-enhancing tools and they’re great for doing that, but as soon as you start sending emails to a personal account you’ve lost control of it.
‘I’ve seen some great examples of educating staff – banks and utilities are very sensitive about the role of the user, so while they put the tech measures in place, they also educate users about the importance of devices. The employer’s job is to educate their employees, some companies are brilliant at enforcing mobile security and others just don’t want to do the work.’
He added: ‘Choose your own device (CYOD) is a far more practical option for most operations; you give your users choice but you don’t completely delegate decision making about what the best tech is. You have a degree of control, you don’t focus on multiple hardware systems and platforms – you keep things nice and simple.
‘The importance of security is underestimated and, as we saw with Carphone Warehouse, that could happen to anybody. Companies need to invest money up front in security, it’s not a very exciting investment and it’s hard to demonstrate a ROI until things go wrong and then you spend vast amounts of effort and money to compensate. It’s something that is very underinvested in.’
Security was an important feature in a number of government lots recently won by Azzurri Communications. The unified comms dealer won nine out of 10 available lots, with a focus to obtain a number of public sector contracts as a result. Richard Newport, head of public sector, explained that these contracts will become an important part of the company’s sales strategy.
He said: ‘We have won lots against a number of very sizeable players, so it gives us a real competitive advantage, not only do we have the capability and track record, we now have the accreditations. We’re engaging with projects now and have opportunities we wouldn’t have been exposed to previously.
‘Public sector has always been a vertical focus for us, and was developed on the back of a couple of local government wins. We took the solutions and the sales capability and developed it from there. Now public sector incorporates new businesses and account management so it’s a significant part of our sales strategy.
‘We’re looking to head towards more public sector opportunities. The services that underpin the lots are such that we can derive solutions from all of those areas. It will expose us to more public sector opportunities. For our overall strategy, being able to work with the public sector is really important.’