NEWS

Study Highlights Growing Mobile Risks

By John Wagley


As workers increasingly use mobile devices in the workplace, organizations are facing increasing data loss and other risks, according to a new study from Carnegie Mellon University and McAfee.

Employees are increasingly using mobile devices, including laptops and smartphones, for both personal and work purposes, which can add to the complexity of securing sensitive data, according to the study. Many workers are also using unsafe practices in securing data on their devices, the study found.

The largest mobile computing threat for IT managers is lost or stolen devices, according to the study. Approximately four out of ten organizations have also had a mobile device lost or stolen. In addition, half of all lost or stolen devices have contained business critical data, the study found. More than a third of mobile device losses have also had a financial impact upon the organization.

The study also found that half of users keep sensitive data including passwords, pin codes, and credit card details on their devices. In addition, although 95 percent of organizations have mobile device policies, less than a third of employees are “very aware” of what such policies entail, according to the study.

Because user awareness about mobile threats is “nascent,” one of the most effective ways organizations can strengthen security is through user education and agreements, the study states.

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