BYOD and security breaches, BT rings alarm bells

|November 3, 2014 0
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net
While 93 pc allow BYOD, 33 pc of personal or corporate owned mobile devices have full access to the internal networks or contain sensitive client information

INDIA: Mobile security breaches have affected 68 per cent of organisations in the last 12 months, according to a new global study from BT.

Despite this, organisations are still not taking sufficient security measures to protect themselves against mobile threats, such as lost or stolen devices and malware infections. In fact, the report reveals that around half of respondents’ organisations who had suffered a mobile security breach, experienced more than four incidents in the last year.

The research explores the attitudes of IT decision makers towards security within their organisations. It shows that uptake of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and COPE (Corporately Owned Personally-Enabled) devices is very high, with 93 per cent of organisations allowing employees to use these devices for work purposes.

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However, only four in 10 organisations surveyed actively have a BYOD policy. In this environment, device security is falling by the wayside: only a quarter of respondents felt that their company had sufficient resources in place to prevent a mobile security breach. Surprisingly, three in 10 (29 per cent) do not have password protection, and less than half (45 per cent) report that their organisation has IT security training for all.

The report highlights that while 33 per cent of personal or corporate owned mobile devices have full access to the internal networks or contain sensitive client information, a third of organisations do not have any kind of enforceable mobile security policy.

For those that do, the average length of time between reviewing mobile security measures is nine months. The infrequency of this is cause for concern, as many IT decision makers believe that the rate of malware infections will be on the rise in the next three to five years.

Security breaches, such as lost or stolen devices, malware infections such as viruses, spyware, and Trojan Horses, or the loss or theft of company or customer data, have had a major impact on business processes, including taking up valuable help desk time and other IT resources. They have reduced employee productivity, day to day activity and even customer experience, as well as causing reputational damage. Some have even resulted in hefty fines.

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, said: “Today’s threat landscape shifts very quickly so it is important for organisations to start with security in mind, rather than add it as an afterthought. This will ensure that security processes develop with them, and not after them. This makes the task of being security-led much more straightforward.”

Staff attitudes remain the biggest threat to data security. The report reveals that 74 per cent are not taking the security of devices seriously. However, delving further into this, it becomes clear that this attitude trickles down from the top: sixty-nine per cent of IT decision makers do not believe their CEO takes security very seriously. This is concerning, as security programmes need to have complete top down buy-in in order to be successful, with everyone from the CEO right throughout the organisation taking part.

Mark Hughes said: “If CEOs are passionate about making security practices work, then these will inevitably become an intrinsic part of people’s lives. Problems usually arise when people don’t understand the risks and the impact that neglecting security could cause for the business, as well as for them personally. A security breach could cause a share price drop and reputational brand damage. This means that security is everyone’s job.”

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