Workplace Mobility Leading to Increasing Concerns About Data Security


No matter what concerns you have about the risks of mobile applications in the workplace, chances are your employees are using them daily to get their jobs done. The use of mobile devices at corporations around the globe continues to accelerate.

And, as a 2016 study recently revealed, those mobile applications are posing a security risk for many enterprise companies. “Of the 53,844 mobile devices in the average Global 2000 enterprise, 1,700 of those devices are infected by malware at any given time,” the Ponemon Institute said in announcing its findings.

The study also revealed that corporate data was vulnerable to exposure on the mobile devices used by employees, yet few were taking the necessary measures to fully protect the information.

Here are some interesting statistics gathered from the 720 sources polled for the study:

  • Access to corporate data from mobile devices increased by 43 percent
  • 56 percent of corporate data is accessible on PCs and mobile
  • 63 percent of the respondents did not have a policy about the type of company data employees can store on their mobile devices
  • 35 percent did not use measures to manage and secure data accessible on mobile devices used by employees
  • 64 percent are not vigilant about protecting sensitive or confidential data stored on or accessed by mobile devices

The type of corporate data that was vulnerable to security breaches included contact lists, employee personal information, confidential documents and customer records.

The findings are significant, considering that 67 percent of enterprises reported having experienced a mobile data breach, according to a 2015 study.

To minimize mobile security breaches in your company, you need a comprehensive plan to address employees’ use of tablets, smartphones and other devices while handling work assignments and company data. The following measures are essential to any strategy.

  1. Develop and enforce a company policy that outlines restrictions and guidelines on accessing company data on mobile devices. Make sure that it is thorough, specifying the company’s handling of violations.
  1. Implement encryption and complex passcode protection for devices used to conduct company business. Make sure that these passcodes are enforced.
  1. Set up a mobile device management system that allows for the remote monitoring and control of mobile devices. For example, in the event that a device is stolen, the information contained within it can be wiped remotely. Also, it can ensure that passcode policies are being followed.

The use of mobile devices for work will continue to increase, with companies expecting to see it jump 50 percent by 2018, according to projections by the Ponemon Institute. It’s critical for companies to take the measures to minimize the risks along with that growth.

About Tony Johnson

Innovative helps you balance your business requirements, service levels, staff and infrastructure to make your IT as effective as possible. Tony Johnson is Vice President of Operations at Innovative and has been helping clients optimize their IT spend and operations since 1983.

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