Rare is the company that hasn't implemented or at least expanded an enterprise mobility program during the past several years. Leaps forward in mobile technology, coupled with the rewards of better productivity and employee satisfaction, have transformed the use of smartphones and tablets into a mission-critical aspect of any business.
But for all its positives, enterprise mobility still must deal with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over it when it comes to data security. Popular belief is that enterprise information is more vulnerable to everything from cyberattacks and loss to malicious leakage when it is accessed by or stored on mobile devices.
This school of thought was recently reflected in a survey conducted by Dimensional Research. According to the report, many companies have witnessed a correlation between increased use of smartphones and tablets and the number of security incidents they have suffered.
Among the 768 IT professionals polled, 78 percent said they have seen mobile device use at least double in the past two years alone. Seventy-one percent identified this trend as a driving factor behind the company also experiencing more data security incidents during that time.
"The explosion of mobile devices connecting to the corporate network often creates greater opportunities for data loss and increased security management complexity," said Juliette Sultan, the head of global marketing at Check Point. "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."
In October, PCWorld released a report warning about the rising tide of data security threats organizations will face this year. Mobility was among the causes highlighted. Specifically, it pointed out the growing amount of mobile malware and malicious applications being produced by cybercriminals.
Similarly, the Dimensional Research poll revealed that companies believe mobile risks are due mostly to the habits of end users rather than the devices themselves. According to the survey, 72 percent said the fact that employees lack awareness of security threats poses more of a risk to confidential data than hackers do.
The time has certainly come for companies to prioritize their data security responsibilities, because the spread of mobility isn't slowing any time soon. According to IDC, the global mobile workforce surpassed 1 billion people at the end of 2010, with the number set to reach 1.3 billion by 2015.
Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro