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BYOD risks overlooked by smaller businesses

Kaspersky Lab UK : 19 May, 2015  (Technical Article)
Research from Kaspersky Lab shows almost a third of small UK businesses fail to see any threat in employees using their own mobile devices
BYOD risks overlooked by smaller businesses

32 per cent of small-business owners believe BYOD (bring-your-own-device) poses no threat to their company and have no interest in spending effort on mobile device security, while 60 per cent of employees think security is the responsibility of the business, a study by Kaspersky Lab has found.

With the study showing that two-thirds (62 per cent) of business owners and employees now use personal mobile devices for work, BYOD is no longer a developing trend, but a widely accepted business practice. It affects companies of all sizes, from the very large (5000+ employees) to the small (fewer than 25 employees).

However, attitudes towards protecting the information security of these devices often leave much to be desired. The consumer security risks survey found that 92 per cent of respondents say that they keep sensitive corporative data on smartphones and tablets which they use for both work and personal activities. Six in ten (60 per cent) are concerned about the threat of surveillance and information theft via mobile devices, but they do not actively protect themselves and rely on their employers to do so.

As for employers and small-business owners, a third (32 per cent) sees absolutely no danger to their business in staff using personal mobile devices for work. The risk of data theft from an employee’s mobile device is not a pressing concern for them, so they do not pay much attention to it. However, representatives of larger businesses are more concerned about employees losing their mobile devices: 58 per cent fear that the theft or loss of a device could damage the company.

Representatives of smaller businesses, who tend to be less interested in specific protection for mobile devices, believe that the basic security tools offered within free solutions should be sufficient. They don’t see any added value in spending extra money on dedicated solutions. More than 80 per cent of respondents were not interested in information about managing the security of mobile devices.

This kind of attitude – on the part of both device owners and their bosses – opens up a serious vulnerability for a corporate network. This weakness can potentially be exploited by cybercriminals as well as by unscrupulous competitors. There is always a chance of suffering financial losses (e.g. from a loss of client base), even if the general feeling is that a lost mobile device cannot cause any damage to the company. Moreover, according to Kaspersky Lab statistics [add reference] one in five Android users encountered a mobile threat in 2014; and 53 per cent of such attacks were bank and SMS Trojans. Protection of the mobile environment is becoming a critical component of security. Kaspersky Small Office Security provides comprehensive protection for small businesses, including security for mobile devices.

“It is increasingly rare to come across a business professional who doesn’t use their own mobile device for work. A laptop or smartphone enables you to do a large part of your business tasks remotely, from any global location. However, the loss of important corporate data via personal devices is a common occurrence, and a negligent attitude towards the security of mobile devices could pose a serious risk to a company’s business. That is why it is important to use a reliable dedicated solution that addresses all modern requirements and market trends,” said Konstantin Voronkov, Head of Endpoint Product Management, Kaspersky Lab.

For example, Kaspersky Small Office Security, a unique IT security solution, designed specifically with small business in mind and equipped with enterprise-grade technology. While delivering powerful award-winning anti-malware, online transactions protection, cloud management, backup and password management, Kaspersky Small Office Security allows founders to concentrate on running their business, because it is easy to use and does not require specific IT administration knowledge to protect the company network.

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