60% of those surveyed acknowledged that device theft or loss was the biggest security threat to mobile devices, however only 57% have password protection enabled even on their laptops, with 18% admitting to using the same password for everything.
As well as affecting an individual’s data, lost mobile devices are also a growing issue for businesses since increasingly we are using the one device for both work and personal. In fact, users are one of the biggest weakspots in an organisation’
“More and more people are using personal laptops, smartphones and tablets when they’re working remotely. While this helps to improve productivity and innovation in a business, it is essential to address the security and operational issues relating to mobile devices now, rather than getting caught out later,” said James Lyne, director of technology strategy at Sophos. “If an employee’s unprotected personal laptop falls into the wrong hands, it can be easy for someone to access, not just personal information, but any work related documents saved on the laptop’s hard drive, or even to use the laptop as a way to gain access to the corporate network.”
Mobile devices have revolutionised the way we access, store and transport information. In order to manage the increased risk of data loss that this presents, companies must adopt wide platform support to cover the vast range of operating systems that are used to access corporate information. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and the variation in operating systems that these devices use, means that the potential attack surface is greater than ever before. Businesses therefore have to ensure that a policy is in place to protect corporate data, regardless of the devices being used to access it.
“Most data breaches on mobile devices are typically due to basic security failures such as weak or no passwords being in place, failure to encrypt data or falling victim to phishing or other social engineering attacks,” continued Lyne. “If devices are used for business, it’s important that IT teams get the basics under control. By making sure that they can purge devices when they go missing, businesses can both minimise the risk of data loss and can also satisfy regulators.”
* Survey conducted in March 2011 by TNS Omnibus. Survey sample – 1075 consumers from Great Britain, 702 working full or part time.
The Sophos mobile tool kit, which includes advice and a video on the importance of password protecting your phone, can be found on the Sophos website here:
More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing security and data protection solutions that are simple to manage, deploy and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, and network access control solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centres. With more than two decades of experience, Sophos is regarded as a leader in security and data protection by top analyst firms and has received many industry awards.
Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, UK and Boston, US. More information is available at www.sophos.com.
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