Mobile devices help business, but security is needed to prevent costly data loss
TORONTO, March 19, 2012 /CNW/ – A new “Global Study on Mobility Risks” reveals that corporate mobile devices and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon are rapidly circumventing enterprise security and policies in Canada. Seventy-one percent of more than 400 respondents in Canada agree that the use of mobile devices in the workplace is important to achieving business objectives. But 72 percent also believe that these devices put their organizations at risk—and only half the organizations surveyed have the necessary security controls to address the risk.
“IT has spent years working on desktop security and trying to prevent data loss over web and email channels—but mobile devices are radically changing the game,” said Fiaaz Walji, Websense Canadian Country Manager. “Tablets and iOS devices are replacing corporate laptops as employees bring-their-own-devices to work and access corporate information. These devices open the door to unprecedented loss of sensitive data. IT needs to be concerned about the data that mobile devices access and not the device itself.”
According to a previous Ponemon Institute© survey, IT respondents said 63 percent of breaches occurred as a result of mobile devices. And only 28 percent said employee desktop computers were the cause.(i)
Today’s research, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by content security provider Websense, Inc.® (NASDAQ: WBSN), is designed to help IT security professionals plan for an increasingly mobile workforce. The research shows that organizations often don’t know how and what data is leaving their networks through non-secure mobile devices. Traditional static security solutions such as antivirus (AV), firewalls, and passwords are not effective at stopping advanced malware and data theft from malicious or negligent insiders. This survey defines mobile devices as laptops, USB drives, smartphones, and tablets.
To safely permit corporate use of mobile devices, Websense recently released its new Websense TRITON Mobile Security solution. It combines four key components (web security, data security, mobile malware and app protection, and vital mobile device management features) into one solution. As a cloud security service, available anytime anywhere, it prevents confidential data loss on iPads, iPhones, Android, and other mobile devices.
- Forty-five percent of respondents report that employees circumvent or disengage security features, such as passwords and key locks, on corporate and personal mobile devices.
- Fifty-eight percent of the organizations in this study experienced data loss resulting from employee use of insecure mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones, USB devices, and tablets. Canada and Italy ranked the highest out of the 12 countries surveyed for mobile data loss.
- Seventy-one percent of respondents agree that the use of mobile devices in the workplace is important to achieving business objectives. A similar percentage (72 percent) believes that these tools put their organizations at risk. Only half of the organizations have the necessary security controls to address the risk, and only six percent say that all employees are compliant and five percent do not know.
- Sixty-two percent of respondents say that over the past 12 months, their organizations experienced an increase in malware infections as a result of insecure mobile devices in the workplace. Twenty-six percent of respondents say that mobile devices are responsible for an increase of more than 50 percent in malware infections. And, out of the 12 countries surveyed, Canada made the top three for the highest amount of infections.
- Sixty-five percent of respondents are most concerned with employees taking photos or videos in the workplace—probably due to fears about the theft or exposure of confidential information.
Websense cloud security services protect remote users anytime and anywhere, including mobile devices and laptops.
“This survey shows that Canadian organizations need a safe way to manage their mobile devices,” said Fiaaz Walji, Websense Canadian Country Manager. “Websense saw that need and developed our new Websense TRITON Mobile Security solution. We believe we are the only vendor that addresses the security gaps detailed in the survey. We take mobile security to the next level by combining device management (MDM) with real-time protection from data loss, dynamic web threats, mobile malware, and malicious mobile apps.”
“We surveyed hundreds of IT security professionals, and mobile devices were overwhelmingly important to business objectives,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “However, mobile devices put organizations at risk—risks that they do not have the necessary security controls and enforceable policies to address. It’s also clear that employees are deliberately disabling security controls, which is a serious concern.”
A full copy of the Websense “Global Study on Mobility Risks,” which focuses on the Canadian results, can be downloaded here.
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(i) Source: Ponemon Institute “Perceptions about Network Security” by Ponemon Institute, June 2011.
About Websense, Inc.
Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in unified web security, email security, mobile security, and data loss prevention (DLP), delivers the best content security for modern threats at the lowest total cost of ownership to tens of thousands of enterprise, mid-market and small organizations around the world. Distributed through a global network of channel partners and delivered as appliance-based software or SaaS-based cloud services, Websense content security solutions help organizations leverage social media and cloud-based communication, while protecting from advanced persistent threats and modern malware, preventing the loss of confidential information, and enforcing internet use and security policies. Websense is headquartered in San Diego, California with offices around the world. For more information, visit www.websense.com.