Mobile Devices Present Dazzling Security Challenges
With smartphones becoming an extension of the office, new research reveals businesses are finding out the hard way just how critical it is for security policies to be in place and adhered to.
According to a newly released report from McAfee, 40 percent of businesses have had mobile devices lost or stolen; half of those contained critical data, and in more than a third of the cases, the lost or stolen devices had a negative financial impact on the organization.
"Employers have a responsibility to instill clear mobile policies," Lianne Caetano, director of product marketing, Mobility Solutions at McAfee, told IT TechNewsDaily. "Users have a responsibility to their employer to protect corporate data and work as an active partner in the process."
There is adisconnect, Caetano said, between user behavior and company policy, which is putting some organizations' sensitive data at risk every day.
According to the survey, 95 percent of organizations have policies in place regarding mobile devices; at the same time, only one in three employees are very aware of them.
"We were impressed at the high percent of respondents indicating their company had a formal policy for mobile devices," Caetano said. "However, it appeared many employees were not aware, or did not adhere to these polices,"
Survey results also show reliance on mobile devices is quickly on the rise. Almost 70 percent organizations said they are more reliant on mobile devices than they were 12 months ago.
Caetano said it is critical for businesses to educate their employees on the dangers of not adhering to company policy regarding mobile devices, which may include things such as how often a smart phone should be backed up.
"It is also important for an employer to ensure that every device accessing the corporate network has a security solution in place that can help remotely wipe data if the device has been lost or stolen," Caetano said.
The research was based on a survey of more than 1,500 information technology and end-user respondents from 14 countries, and was commissioned by McAfee and produced by Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab.