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News

Security Incidents Involving Mobile Devices Increasing

Check Point : 19 January, 2012  (Technical Article)
Check Point report confirms increased concern about the use of mobile devices on corporate networks with a rise in the number of security incidents related to them
Security Incidents Involving Mobile Devices Increasing
Check Point has announced the results of a new report that shows the number of personal mobile devices connecting to corporate networks has more than doubled in the past two years.

The report, The Impact of Mobile Devices on Information Security, shows 74% of UK businesses (compared with 71% internationally) believe mobile devices have caused an increase in security incidents, citing significant concerns about the loss and privacy of sensitive information stored on employee devices.  This information includes corporate email (accessed on 79% of devices), customer data (on 47% of devices), and network login credentials (on 38% of devices).

Smartphones and tablet PCs continue to proliferate in corporate environments.  While businesses are accepting this trend, IT administrators struggle with securing the abundance of devices and operating systems, while also protecting their organization against data loss and the rise in mobile threats.

Key Findings from the report are:

* Rise in mobile devices connecting to the corporate network – 92% of UK businesses surveyed allow mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets connecting to corporate networks, with 66% of respondents seeing the number of devices more than double in the last two years.

* Most common mobile devices and their security risks – Apple (30%) and Blackberry (29%) were the most common types of mobile devices connecting to corporate networks, followed by Android (21%). Nearly half of respondents (43%) also believe Android devices pose a larger security risk to the mobile enterprise.

* Employee behaviour impacts security of mobile data – The majority of businesses believe the lack of security awareness among employees as the greatest factor impacting mobile data – followed by mobile web browsing (61%), insecure Wi-Fi connectivity (59%), lost or stolen devices (58%) and malicious mobile application downloads (57%).

* Correlation between rise in mobile devices and security incidents – 74% of businesses believe mobile devices have contributed to an increase the number of security events in their organizations within the past two years.

* Many mobile devices store sensitive customer and business data – Personal and corporate owned devices often store and access a variety of sensitive information including email (79%), customer data (47%) and login credentials (38%) for internal databases or business applications.

“The consumerization of IT is among the top concerns for CIOs this coming year and we wanted to assess from IT administrators the current security challenges they face when it comes to mobile computing,” said Juliette Sultan, head of global marketing at Check Point Software Technologies. “The explosion of mobile devices connecting to the corporate network often creates greater opportunities for data loss and increased security management complexity. We anticipate this trend will continue to rise in 2012, encouraging enterprises to enforce the proper remote access policies to minimize the frequency, risk and costs associated with securing the mobile enterprise.”

The study, The Impact of Mobile Devices on Information Security, surveyed 100 IT professionals from the United Kingdom, included in a total of 768 participants from around the globe. The survey sample represents organizations of all sizes and across multiple industries, including financial, industrial, defence, retail, healthcare and education.

“A good mobile security strategy will focus on educating employees about mobile security policies, while simplifying management and enforcing the proper, secure access controls to protect data on the move on all networks, endpoints and mobile devices,” concluded Sultan.
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