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McAfee and Carnegie Mellon Report Finds Serious Disconnect Between Businesses and Mobile Users

Risky Behaviors and Weak Security Postures are Commonplace in Mobile Security

Santa Clara, Calif., and Pittsburgh, 24 May, 2011 - McAfee today released “Mobility and Security: Dazzling Opportunities, Profound Challenges,” a global report focused on the consumerization of IT and its impact on security. The report looks at mobility from two perspectives—that of the company’s senior IT professional and the general end users of mobile devices in the workplace.  Researchers found that while an increasing number of consumers use mobile devices for both business and personal activities, large numbers are not familiar with their employer’s corporate policy on the use of mobile devices.   
“Devices are no longer just consumer devices or business devices. They are both,” said Richard Power, a CyLab Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, the primary author of the report.  “Devices are more than extensions of the computing structure, they are extensions of the user. The way users interact with their personal data mirrors the way they want to interact with corporate data.”
Reliance on mobile devices is already significant and accelerating rapidly. In the survey, almost half of organizations are very reliant on mobile devices. Almost seven in 10 organizations are more reliant on mobile devices than they were 12 months ago.  IT is becoming increasingly consumerized and businesses now operate in a heterogeneous mobile environment where BlackBerrys are no longer the standard. The survey found that 63 percent of devices on the network are also used for personal activities.

Key Report Findings:

  • Lost and stolen mobile devices are seen as the greatest security concern for IT professionals and end-users - Four in 10 organizations have had mobile devices lost or stolen and half of lost/stolen devices contain business critical data. More than a third of mobile device losses have had a financial impact on the organization and two-thirds of companies that had mobile devices lost/stolen have increased their device security after this loss.
  • Risky behaviors and weak security postures are commonplace - Although the need for mitigating mobile security risks and threats is acknowledged, fewer than half of device users back up their mobile data more frequently than on a weekly basis. Around half of device users keep passwords, pin codes or credit card details on their mobile devices. One in three users keeps sensitive work-related information on their mobile devices.
  • There is a serious disconnect between the policy and reality - 95 percent of organizations have policies in place in regard to mobile devices, however, only one in three employees are very aware of their company’s mobile security policies

“Data loss remains a huge problem for both consumers and businesses," said Todd Gebhart, executive vice president and general manager, consumer, small business and mobile, McAfee. “Consumers need tools to protect their personal information and businesses need a way to protect their valuable intellectual property.  It's far too easy to leave a mobile device in a cab, or at the airport.  This study shows that there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of education and putting the right tools in place to ensure mobile security.”
“Mobility and Security: Dazzling Opportunities, Profound Challenges,” is based on a survey of more than 1500 information technology and end user respondents from 14 countries and was commissioned by McAfee and produced by Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab.  A full copy of the report is available for download at www.mcafee.com/mobilesecurityreport.

About the report:
In collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, McAfee took a hard look at the topic of mobile security and the consumerization of IT. The online surveys were administered by international research firm Vanson Bourne. More than 1500 respondents from 14 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S., participated in the survey. The participants were split between two surveys targeted towards general end-users of mobile devices and senior IT decision makers in companies with 100 or more employees.

About McAfee:
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com

About CyLab:

CyLab is one of the largest university-based cybersecurity education and research centers in the U.S. CyLab is multi-disciplinary and university-wide, involving six colleges from Carnegie Mellon, 50 plus faculty and over 130 graduate students. CyLab is located in the Collaborative Innovation Center and is supported by both public and private funding, predominantly government research funds and the support of our partners. Our goal is to build mutually-beneficial public-private partnerships to develop new technologies for measurable, available, secure, trustworthy, and sustainable computing and communications systems and to educate individuals at all levels. www.cylab.cmu.edu/

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Tracy Ross, 408-346-5965
tracy_ross@mcafee.com
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H3O Communications
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