BYOD top security worry of firms: Kaspersky exec

CANCUN, Mexico – When it comes to IT security challenges, the bring your own device (BYOD) trend and virtualization are top of mind for enterprise IT managers and CIOs, according to Russian security vendor Kaspersky Lab.

In an interview with IT World Canada at Kaspersky’s annual North American partner conference here, Dan Burke, vice-president of enterprise sales for Kaspersky Lab North America, said when he speaks with enterprise customers or prospects these days BYOD is their top of mind concern. Many businesses are still grappling with the very notion of it, he said, and trying how to accommodate it within their existing security policy and process. He doesn’t see an easy fix.

“Every organization has a different thought process around risk and security on BYOD,” said Burke.
(Photo by Jeff Jedras, ITWC)

Different businesses are making different decisions about BYOD management based on their risk tolerance and thought processes. Some companies choose to opt for very strict policies, such as a corporate setting, while another organization may opt for a freer approach, such as an educational institution. Burke said Kaspersky has designed its solutions to be flexible so they can adapt to the approach a company wishes to take, and its recently launched Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business has added mobile device management (MDM) to help address the BYOD management and security challenge.

“BYOD is definitely the number one challenge I head from enterprise customers,” said Burke. “They want to know what we’re seeing in the industry and what their peers are doing.”

The second challenge Burke most often hears of from his enterprise customers is virtualization. It has been a hot topic for a number of years, and Burke said many companies have heavily virtualized their infrastructure without fully thinking through the unique security challenges the virtualization model brings.

“Most companies that are highly virtualized today might not understand they have a security risk,” said Burke, adding the vendor has developed Kaspersky Security for Virtualization to address this challenge.

For Kaspersky, the biggest challenge may be getting the word out that they’re a strong player in the enterprise space.

“In the enterprise space there’s probably a misconception that we don’t play in the enterprise space,” said Burke, point to German chemical company BASF as one of Kaspersky’s larger enterprise clients, with over 110,000 seats.

“From an enterprise perspective we scale as large as any of our competitors,” said Burke. “Our challenge at Kaspersky is from a marketing perspective, helping people understand that we do play in the enterprise space.”

Burke’s team deals with accounts of 2,500 seats and above, and goes to market entirely through its reseller market. The oil and gas market is a strength for Kaspersky in Canada, and in the public sector Burke said their bread and butter is the education space.

Compared to its main competitors such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro, Burke said Kaspersky stands-out with its focus on the ability to manage, via a single management console, a fairly disparate group of security technologies such as systems management, MDM, encryption and malware.

“None of our competitors do that,” said Burke.


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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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