Business

From Nottingham to Barcelona in 17 Years

March 3, 2015

Today I spoke about the arrival of “Business without Walls” at AVG Business’s Mobile Security Forum at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

MikeForeman
General Manager, SMB

In my talk I spoke about how, 17 years ago, I started as a shop owner in Nottingham selling software and networking tools to small businesses. All those years later, I am General Manager of AVG Business and presenting at the world’s leading mobile show.

Of course, things have changed rapidly in this period, but one thing remains the same – my vision, which is the same as the AVG Business vision, namely to help businesspeople do what they do best – run their businesses.

Back in my Nottingham days, security meant four walls and a locked door. However, we all know that this has changed. Phenomena such as Bring Your Own Device and the so-called Consumerization of IT have changed everything.

Cloud apps and services made this happen. Business people expect the connectivity and flexibility that the cloud delivers. In turn, cloud brings about security challenges. Staff handle business-critical and confidential data on an increasing number of devices, both company provided and their own.  My old-fashioned four walls and a locked door no longer applies. How can this connectivity and flexibility be controlled and secured?

I said on stage that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is no longer a debate – it’s a responsibility. We are now at the point where BYOD has become “YOD.” Thanks to cloud computing, staff no longer need to bring devices into an office in order to access business data. The workplace is now everywhere, we live in an age of business without walls. Telling staff not to use their own smartphone for work purposes is not an option. Digital natives demand it.

Cloud is here, but it has made control and security harder – business owners are demanding solutions from their IT partners and providers, and this is where we come in.

I was delighted to be joined on stage by Shreyas Sadalgi, SVP Business Development at Centrify, market leader in Single Sign On technology. Together we unveiled a simple, affordable way for small businesses to help keep company confidential data safe, private and within their control even when shared with employee-owned mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) and externally hosted cloud services.

We’re making it simple for businesses. Through Secure Sign On, a new employee can have access to any of their employer’s apps through any device. When an employee leaves, access is removed very quickly. This simple solution solves the YOD question and puts control and security back in the hands of the business, as quickly as physically taking a key and locking a door.

It’s amazing how far you can go in 17 years!

Mike Foreman
March 3, 2015


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