While the use of high-tech mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is growing in the workplace, the security policies governing these tools is often lacking. If this trend prevails, businesses may run the risk of suffering data breaches and other data security failures.
Though they can improve workplace productivity, smartphones and tablets tend to pose more data security vulnerabilities than desktop PCs. While the portability of such devices is a definite benefit, it can also be a burden, as smartphones can easily be lost or stolen.
While there are myriad steps businesses need to take to ensure sensitive corporate information isn't exposed by these devices, one key measure may be involving company executives in the mobile security process.
Writing for InformationWeek, contributing editor Jonathan Feldman asserted that while it is necessary to educate employees on the importance of mobile security, it is just as crucial that executives are also aware of the risks of poor mobility practices and are dialed into the company's data protection policies.
"More than ever, IT folks are trying to wrap their arms around this realization that they can't do it alone. In the same way that ERP projects fail without executive involvement, I believe that mobility initiatives won't work without some level of executive involvement," Feldman wrote.
Further compounding data protection challenges is the use of employee-owned mobile devices in the workplace. While the benefits of the technology are apparent, many data protection practices are lacking. According to a recent FuzeBox report, 20 percent of American tablet owners use their devices to transfer sensitive business data, while 14 percent of smartphone owners do the same.
In a recent report for Venture Beat, J. Gold Associates founder and principal analyst Jack Gold estimated that approximately 25 percent of organizations now support employee-owned mobile devices. As that figure continues to grow, it is imperative that businesses lock down their security practices to avoid data breaches and other cyber threats.