Published On: Sat, Apr 18th, 2015

Is Mobile Security One of the Biggest Risks for Businesses?

Businesses used to worry about break-ins and breaches of their premises when it came to security. But now many companies worry about data security more than they give a thought to burglaries and trespassing. One of the things many businesses have been worrying about recently is mobile security. They worry whether people connecting via their phones and other mobile devices could pose a risk to their company. Some people think that there are many things that could make data vulnerable through the use of mobile devices. Meanwhile, a recent Verizon survey suggested that it wasn’t an enormous concern.

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There’s no doubt that businesses need to be concerned about the security of their valuable data. But are mobile devices really a threat? In the UK, a survey from BT revealed that 95% of businesses let employees bring personal devices to work. 41% had experienced a mobile security breach. An article in The Guardian argued that many things contributed to the risk of a mobile security breach. These included unsecured apps and cheaper devices that don’t play by the rules.

A global study by Aruba Networks found that 43% of Australian businesses said they had lost data due to the misuse of a mobile device. They also identify high-risk industries, such as finance and tech. But a survey by Verizon concluded that concerns about mobile security are often overblown. The report said, “the count of compromised devices was truly negligible.” The report also found that the majority of malware on mobile devices lasted less than a month. These results suggest that there could be bigger things to worry about.

Perhaps businesses are better off directing their concern toward other data security issues. Or even to securing their premises. A few years ago, the FBI reported that retail industry experts said organized retail crime costs the US $30 billion a year. Companies could be better off hiring a security officer company than they are worrying about what people are doing with their mobile phones or tablets. If they want to be concerned with their IT systems, it’s better to pay attention to their staff. Mistakes and even purposefully malicious actions by employees could cost a company valuable data. Monitoring workers to make sure they’re doing their job could be more important than monitoring their device use.

However, companies that are concerned about devices can do some things to put their minds at rest. Some businesses choose to disallow mobile devices at work, but for many businesses they help employees do their jobs. Another option is to have a clear policy on how staff can use their own devices at work. It could ensure that they aren’t leaving the network vulnerable to data breaches. Some businesses also decide that it’s better to provide staff with a work device and rules for its use.

It’s difficult to determine if mobile security is a significant threat to business. But, whether it is or not, it doesn’t overshadow the other risks that companies face, from break-ins to other internet security breaches.