Employees Sacrifice Mobile Security in Favor of Productivity

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 10/6/2014

Organizations are sacrificing mobile device security in favour of productivity, says a new survey by the Ponemon Institute and Raytheon. In fact, more than half of organizations and employees are sacrificing mobile security practices to take advantage of the efficiency benefits of mobile connectivity.

Security in the New Mobile Ecosystem looks at how organizations are developing and implementing mobile device strategies. Although the focus of the report is primarily on cyber security, many of the concerns apply to data security in general on mobile devices. Data is at risk in many ways, whether from cyber attack, phishing, malware, or device loss and theft. So what is the impact of the mobile workforce on organizational security?

Key findings from the study include:

  • One-third of employees use mobile devices exclusively to do their work
  • 47% of employees believe they will use mobile devices exclusively for work within the next 12 months
  • 64% of employees claim they do not currently have (or expect to have) sufficient budget to effectively fight mobile device cyber security threats
  • 60% believe employees are becoming less diligent about practicing good security on mobile devices
  • The top security methods being used are Mobile Device Management (MDM) and secure containers
  • 30% have no mobile security features in place
  • Malware infections and user-negligence are the largest threats to personal devices, followed by device theft or loss and data leakage
  • Employee resistance is the biggest barrier to an effective mobile security strategy

The Human Factor in Data Breaches

Earlier research from the Ponemon Institute suggested that 64% of data breaches are due to “the human factor”, including either negligence or process failures. Our own research has corroborated that employees remain a weak point in security. According to our own findings23% of employees believe that data security is “not their responsibility,” so they should not be held accountable if they leak or lose company data. Given that 59% of employees believe the corporate data on their phone is worth less than $500, there is an obvious disconnect about the value of data and the role each employee plays in protecting it.

This new survey suggests that employees continue putting data at risk on mobile devices. However, organizations are also not putting the necessary resources towards the security of these devices or the data they contain. If you are struggling to put your mobile security practices in place, we can help. Learn more at Absolute.com

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