Mobile devices increasing security incidents: survey

CIOL Bureau
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REDWOOD CITY, USA: Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., the worldwide leader in securing the Internet, today announced the results of a new report revealing the number of personal mobile devices connecting to the corporate network has more than doubled in the past two years -- with nearly half of devices storing sensitive data.


The report, The Impact of Mobile Devices on Information Security, shows 71 percent of businesses 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, including corporate email (79 per cent), customer data (47 per cent) and network login credentials (38 per cent).

Smartphones and tablet PCs continue to proliferate in corporate environments, presenting significant business benefits such as increased work efficiency and easy access to resources. While businesses are steadily 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.


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"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."

Key Findings from the Report:


Rise in Mobile Devices Connecting to the Corporate Network -- Approximately 94 percent of businesses surveyed have an increased number of personal mobile devices connecting to the corporate network, with 78 per cent of respondents seeing the number of devices more than double in the last two years.

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Most Common Mobile Devices and their Security Risks -- Apple (30 per cent) and BlackBerry (29 per cent) were the most common types of mobile devices connecting to corporate networks, followed by Android (21 per cent). Nearly half of respondents (43 per cent) also believe Android devices pose a larger security risk to the mobile enterprise.


Employee Behavior 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 per cent), insecure Wi-Fi connectivity (59 per cent), lost or stolen devices (58 per cent) and malicious mobile application downloads (57 per cent).

Correlation between Rise in Mobile Devices and Security Incidents --  Approximately 71 per cent of businesses believe smartphones and tablet PCs have contributed to an increase in 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 per cent), customer data (47 per cent) and login credentials (38 per cent) for internal databases or business applications.