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Mobile Devices and Their Threat to Your Business PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 09:51

Organizations are increasingly hooked on mobile. Pervasive, affordable mobile connectivity is behind many of today’s big changes—like digital transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT)—that are impacting processes and people across all industries. We are also doing more and more with mobile devices. And the increased use of cloud computing and web apps is allowing many users to access vast amounts of data on these devices, helping them work better and faster. Verizon recently completed a security report that we thought would be interesting to our readers.

It’s not all good news. Experience shows that many organizations aren’t fully prepared for the security challenges caused by the increased use of mobile connectivity and devices—and the increased access to information.

We wanted to know more about what organizations fear and what security measures they are taking to mitigate risks. To find out, Verizon commissioned independent research, surveying more than 600 mobility professionals. The results were eye-opening.

Nothing is 100% secure, the challenge for those responsible for IT security is to reduce risk to an acceptable level. But research found that approximately one third of organizations have knowingly sacrificed security for expediency or business performance. Think about that. One in three organizations that we work with, buy from, turn to for healthcare, and that govern the communities in which you live, have put speed and profit before the safety of their data—and our data. And that’s just the ones that are aware and willing to admit it. The number could be significantly higher.

According to the research, many companies haven’t taken even the most basic precautions to protect their data and core systems. This is alarming since the danger of cyberattacks continues to grow. Many factors make mobile devices an appealing target: there are more of them (including IoT devices), they have access to more data, and they are now critical to business operations.

There’s considerable cause for concern. Yet, organizations can take simple actions to significantly protect their operations, data and reputation.

Organizations say that mobile security risks are increasing. Companies are concerned about the threats mobile devices pose to both their data and uninterrupted business operations. While the number of reported incidents is still relatively low, the vast majority think that the threat is serious:

• 85% said their businesses face at least a moderate risk from mobile security threats. 26% said it is a significant risk. • 74% said that the risks associated with mobile devices have increased in the past year. Just 1% said they had gone down. • 73% said that they expect risks to increase during the next year. Only 2% said that they expect them to decrease.

Despite this, they are sacrificing security for expediency. Organizations are knowingly putting speed and profits before mobile security. And the consequences are not surprising:

• Almost a third (32%) admitted to having sacrificed mobile security to improve expediency and/or business performance—38% of those said that their organization is at significant risk from mobile threats. • Over a quarter (27%) said that during the past year their company had experienced a security incident resulting in data loss or system downtime where mobile devices played a key role. An additional 8% said that while they hadn’t, one of their suppliers had.

In Summary; Companies are sacrificing mobile security for expediency and business performance. And those that said they knew their organization did this were more than twice as likely to have experienced data loss or downtime.

Almost all respondents agreed that mobile devices present a serious and growing security threat.

Despite this, many were failing to take basic precautions. Only 39% said they change all default passwords and over half (51%) didn’t have a public Wi-Fi policy. Most know they need to take more action. 93% agreed that organizations should take mobile security more seriously.