Workers are not investing in mobile security measures, according to survey

October 22, 2012

Professionals who use mobile devices in the workplace can conduct business at their convenience, which experts agree can improve productivity. Despite the benefits of a bring-your-own-device policy, many individuals lack web security measures on their smartphones, tablets and laptops, which may put personal and company information at risk.

A survey conducted by a leading security organization shows that data stored on mobile devices may be in danger. Based on the results of 1,008 consumers polled in Great Britain, 42 percent of respondents who lost their devices or stored them in an unsafe area failed to put preventative measures in place. 

Company owners are worried because 20 percent of misplaced equipment had accessed work emails, which may have exposed confidential information to unauthorized users, according to the survey. Twenty percent of lost, misplaced or stolen devices also stored personal data like addresses and dates of birth, while 10 percent contained financial information like credit card numbers and 35 percent were logged-in to social media accounts. 

A report from a different security company reaffirms the importance of taking steps to inhibit a hacker from gaining access. The study showed an increase in malware affecting smartphones - especially Androids - in the third quarter of 2012. Because many did not install security applications, their companies' information - as well as personal material - was left exposed.

To ensure data protection and prevent hackers from infiltrating organizations' infrastructures, experts suggest educating employees on threats and proper safety measures. Decision-makers should also invest in mobile management software to monitor and maintain application security, Techgoondu reported. Workers are encouraged to use encryption to protect documents in case a device is stolen, employ password protections and only search the internet on secure WiFi networks. 

-McAfee Cloud Security