Most Cos Still Not Equipped To Handle Mobile Threats
Despite mobile security becoming a key focus in the enterprise, very few companies are confident of protecting their data from mobile threat and many believe mobile is the weakest link in data security. These are the findings of a recent survey by mobile specialist Blackberry which sees a strong gap in understanding how inadequately managed mobile devices in the workplace can contribute risk — yet not taking action to mitigate that risk is evident.
According to the study, 66 percent of those surveyed acknowledge they find it difficult to keep up with current and emerging mobile threats, while 70 percent (of the same respondents) say they know they are more tolerant of risk than they should be with their enterprise mobility. This increases to 76 percent in BYOD environments. For organizations with governance, risk and compliance (GRC) demands, this gap leaves them vulnerable to attacks or industry regulation breaches that put them at financial and reputational risk, says the study.
The survey found that only 35 percent of executives, risk compliance officers and IT managers within large organizations are very confident that their organization’s data assets are fully protected from unauthorized access via mobile devices. In fact, more than two-thirds believe that mobile devices are the weakest link in their enterprise security framework.
Respondents indicated that they have been too lax in assessing and guarding against risks such as lost or stolen devices, unapproved apps and cloud services, as well as inadequate separation of work and personal use of devices. Consequences in mishandling these issues could lead to immeasurable reputational damage, significant financial penalties and loss of revenue through the loss of trade secrets, or misappropriated customer data. These threats are so critical that 75 percent of those surveyed believe that their organization’s GRC groups should be more involved in developing enterprise mobility strategy.
“It’s startlingly clear that mobile technology has transformed daily business faster than most businesses have been able to adapt,” says John Sims, President of Global Enterprise Services, BlackBerry. “Leaders at all levels of organizations around the world are realizing the very real gaps that exist in their technology infrastructure – and the potentially devastating consequences of a breach,” he says.
However, the findings raise serious concerns about the risk exposure faced by enterprises at a time when mobile challenges are growing. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported the number of data breaches their organization has experienced via mobile devices has increased in the last year, and 66 percent said that it is difficult for their organizations to keep up with emerging mobile trends and security threats.
Other key findings of the study include:
Increasing need for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) - Seventy-six percent of study participants said the risk of legal liability and costly lawsuits will increase without concerted efforts to adopt comprehensive enterprise mobility management strategies. Over 60 percent say their organization miscalculates or underestimates risk by focusing on the device rather than the entire mobility landscape. The head of internal audit at a professional services company interviewed for the study said: “Attitudes are changing with regard to work and where you do it. The danger is that as the behavior changes and we use more mobile technologies, the controls do not keep up.”
Reconsideration of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies - Fifty-seven percent said that they would consider curtailing policies that allow employees to use their personal mobile devices at work (BYOD) in favor of more secure end-to-end solutions such as corporate owned, personally enabled (COPE). Nearly 77 percent reported that it is increasingly difficult to balance the needs of the business and those of the end user when it comes to mobility. A vice president of technology at a financial services firm said: “As soon as someone is on the news there will be a backlash.”
Mobility partners must provide secure, future-ready solutions - Sixty-nine percent said their methods for choosing mobility vendors need to be updated to reflect the current risk and mobility landscape. While 73 percent said they want providers to have security credentials and certifications when determining how best to implement EMM solutions, 58 percent want their partners to have a clear mobility roadmap and solutions that adapt to changing technologies.
To learn more about the survey in an accompanying infographic and to download the complete report, Click Here.
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