UNILEVER SECURES ITS MOBILE DEVICES
Case Study Questions
How are Unilever executives’ wireless handhelds related to the company’s business performance?
Unilever is a giant company that operates in several countries throughout the world. This great manufacturer and supplier of fast-moving consumer goods (products) employs managers all over the world. When they are mobile, these managers have to have access at any time to their company’s data and need to operate on different wireless networks. They need to be able to view their e-mail attachments and Word files even when they are not on their office desktop. This is the way they can guarantee a top- quality management. Besides, Unilever’s employees have to stay connected with each other in the different countries where the company operates so that they can work as a unifying force and satisfy Unilever’s customers throughout the world by offering them products more suitable with their local conditions. So, handheld devices allows Unilever’s executives to have a better organization for their operations and to increase their productivity and by the same way the company’s performances
Discuss the potential impact of a security breach at Unilever.
For a huge company such as Unilever, security is essential. So, the company has to provide maximum safety to its management tools such as executives’ laptops and wireless handhelds to enable managers securely access their sensitive information. Unilever devices need a high level of security to be protected from hackers and any other outsider who may introduce malware and viruses to the company Network which causes important financial losses. A simple operation such as downloading data or messages from an external network may introduce this type of disabling malware. For competitive reasons, unauthorized users (outsiders) can enter the company network through these devices and steal sensitive corporate data such as sales figures, social security numbers, customer names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses; which threatens the company’s economic intelligence! Because they are easy to lose or steal, Unilever’s wireless handhelds need at least the same level of security as its laptops because a security breach can be fatal for the company and may be used by outsiders to cause financial harm and customer’s losses.
What management, organization, and technology factors had to be addressed in developing security policies and procedures for Unilever’s wireless handhelds?
Some management, organization, and technology factors must be taken into account to provide security to the company’s network.
First of all, we have to notice that the Proprietary operating system set up by BlackBerry allows the users of its devices to establish automated restrictions. Thanks to its strong data encryption technology, BlackBerry Enterprise Servers through which all e-mail and browser traffic are routed prevent the use of any other alternative e-mail or web browser services. To reach its security aim, Unilever uses the tools provided by BlackBerry and sets up a corporate security policy. So, every employee having a wireless handheld must use a company-specified device using some methods of authentication such as passwords allowing users to log onto the corporate network. Then, Unilever sets up a monitoring through its firewall: it controls all traffic and detects employees who try to forward their e-mail to non-corporate accounts or attempt to open e-mail attachments sent from their desktops. Unilever prohibits such practices because e-mail that passes from an external network to Unilever’s corporate network is not secure and may introduce malware and viruses. The company also configured its wireless handhelds by setting up a security program for wireless handhelds so that users can’t install any third-part application, for example: - A new security key is created every 30 days,
Handhelds are set to time out...
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