Zix Blog

Why Businesses Should Not Trust Remote Wipe or Kill Switch Commands

Fri, 10/23/2015 - 11:17 by Neil Farquharson
I’m becoming increasingly concerned that businesses are relying on the remote wipe instruction to protect their data. Articles like this one from CNET talk about the new Californian law that implements kill-switch functionality on smartphones, while a multitude of articles such as this one from the New York Times espouse remote wipe functionality. However, as I explained in April , these solutions are way off base and do not truly protect company data. Let me explain. The reason for the kill-switch is to deny the thief the future use of the stolen phone. This makes perfect sense to the...
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Securing Mobile Devices with the Remote Wipe Instruction – Or Not!

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 10:49 by Neil Farquharson
I’ve just been reading through technical notes that come with a big brand mobility solution. I won’t embarrass them by using their name, however one of their key statements is “If you lose the mobile device, you can use the remote wiping feature to prevent someone from obtaining your personal information from the device.” The notes continue on by giving the instruction sequence to follow to send the remote wipe instruction to the lost or stolen mobility device. Another big brand website is a little more honest about lost or stolen devices: “If your device is...
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Employee Privacy and Employer Liability: The BYOD Dilemma

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 10:45 by Neil Farquharson
You may remember this blog and an expert panel webinar I hosted in January. Since then, I have received several requests to give my own opinion* on how to best ensure employee personal privacy and to minimize any potential employer liability issues associated with enabling BYOD in the workplace. Let’s recap the July 2014 US Supreme Court ruling on smartphone privacy, Riley v. California . The ruling was unanimous – all nine Justices in favor – therefore this decision is not going to be overturned during my lifetime. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that smartphones “differ in both a...
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Privacy and BYOD – How our Landscape is Changing

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 10:54 by Neil Farquharson
I’ve been watching privacy issues here in the US and around the world, particularly as they pertain to BYOD. Let me tell you, 2014 was quite a year for privacy issues and individual rights. Around the US we had a number of lawsuits by employees against their employers for expecting them to answer their phones and emails 24/7 but not paying them for this out-of-hours work. Then in May, the European Court of Justice ruled against Google forcing Google to respond to demands to erase private information from browser listing – the so called Right to be Forgotten . Then in July, US policing experts...
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Reasonable Expectations of Employee Privacy in BYOD

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 12:52 by Jim Brashear
In June 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Riley v. California that police officers generally* may not search the digital information on a smartphone without first obtaining a warrant. Law enforcement professionals were surprised and appalled, because case law previously said the Fourth Amendment does not require a warrant for a search of personal items obtained incident to an arrest. What does a criminal law case that limits police cell phone searches have to do with corporate Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy? The case illustrates evolving legal theories about reasonable expectations...
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Enterprise Mobility Management and the Maginot Line

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 10:52 by Neil Farquharson
Over the weekend I was reading up on my history of the early 20 th Century and the aftermath of the “victory” of World War One. I came across references to the Maginot Line of the 1930s and the comfort the French took in knowing that should there be a new German military build-up, they, the French, would always feel safe behind the impregnable defenses of the Maginot Line. Even today, 80 years later, military experts confirm that despite having the best arms and technology of the time, the German military would never have been able to breach the defenses of the Maginot Line, then a state-of-...
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The BYOD Data Dilemma: Is EAS Safe?

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 17:23 by Neil Farquharson
Skimming through old posts on the Zix blog, I came across this one from a year ago. A new Zix employee had pulled out his smartphone and demonstrated that although his ActiveSync account with his previous employer had been deactivated, all the emails, attachments and his customer contact list were still stored in the permanent memory of his device. This got me to thinking – what is Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)? EAS is a protocol that has been developed to synchronize email, contacts and calendar entries from the Exchange mailbox to just about every mobile device or operating system, including...
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Survey Says… Individuals Would Rather Lose Wallet, Than Mobile Device

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:00 by ZixCorp
Let’s face it – we trust mobile devices with some of our most priceless information, from photos to bank account numbers to work emails. But with the rise of BYOD and the fact that every 3 minutes a personal device is remotely wiped by an employer, it’s not surprising that recent findings indicate some people would rather lose their wallet than their mobile device. In a recent study, we asked more than 1,000 respondents their views on corporate BYOD policies and the value they place on personal data contained on their mobile devices. Let’s take a look at the top issues employees are facing...
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