October 30, 2012
Mobile devices are changing the way people conduct business. Using smartphones and tablets, workers now have the ability to complete assignments at home or on the road without having to step foot in an office. Because more people are accessing company documents on their personal devices, mobile security has become a hot topic among decision-makers.
More consumers using mobile devices to browse internet
A recent survey from the International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that more people are browsing the internet via mobile technology. The survey found that the number of consumers who will access the web on their PCs will decrease from 240 million people in 2012 to 225 million in 2016. While PC use declines, the number of mobile consumers will increase from 174 million people to 265 million in the next four years, IDC reported. The rise in mobile adoption for both personal and professional purposes emphasizes the importance of network security.
Mobile security remains a concern
Data protection is now a major concern for employers as a result of the growing popularity of the bring-your-own-device movement. However, many have not taken the proper steps to keep devices safe from cybercriminals. A separate survey by AT&T and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University reaffirms the need for security measures among companies.
The report found that 83 percent of small organizations polled allow their workers to use smartphones and tablets to conduct business - 90 percent said that their employees can read work emails on their devices, and 41 percent can access confidential information via the cloud.
The survey also showed that 65 percent of small business owners were concerned about mobile data security, but only 29 percent have installed software as a precaution. Although 82 percent of institutions have secured company laptops, only 32 percent have taken steps to protect smartphones, and 39 percent have guarded tablets. Of those who have not put preventative measures in place for mobile technologies, only 42 percent of small organizations have plans to create security policies, according to the source.
Steps to ensure security
More cybercriminals have targeted mobile devices because of the amount of information stored on smartphones. To prevent hackers from successfully compromising networks, business owners must take precautions. Experts suggest implementing data loss prevention methods to protect company files. For example, employers should install mobile device management software to monitor the applications an employee downloads and the documents that he or she accesses.
Professionals are also encouraged to remove confidential information from their smartphones and tablets, install security software and use passwords.
-McAfee Cloud Security