Survey: 79% of biz experienced mobile security incident last year

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A new survey from Check Point Software Technologies has revealed that majority of businesses (79 percent) had a mobile security incident in the past year, and the costs are substantial.

The new report found mobile security incidents tallied up to over six figures for 42 percent of businesses, including 16 percent who put the cost at more than $500,000.

From smartphones to tablets, mobile devices continue to cause ongoing concern for IT teams responsible for information security. Sensitive corporate information can be easily transported, leaked, or lost while the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has dramatically increased the number of expensive security incidents.

Even so, corporate information, including sensitive customer information, are increasingly stored on personal mobile devices and not managed by corporate IT.

Based on a survey of nearly 800 IT professionals, the report quantifies the dramatic growth of BYOD, exposes the frequency and cost of mobile security incidents, and identifies the main challenges faced by businesses of all sizes.

Key findings include:

? Surge in personal mobile devices connecting to the corporate network — Among companies that allow personal mobile devices, 96 percent say the number of personal devices connecting to their corporate networks is growing, and 45 percent have more than five times as many personal mobile devices as they had two years ago.

? Mobile security incidents common and costly for businesses large and small — More than half (52 percent) of large businesses report mobile security incidents have amounted to more than $500,000 in the past year. Even for 45 percent of SMBs with less than 1000 employees, mobile security incidents exceeded $100,000 in the past year.

? Mobile platform with the greatest perceived security risks — Android was cited by 49 percent of businesses as the platform with greatest perceived security risk (up from 30 percent last year), compared to Apple, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry.

? Corporate information not managed on mobile devices — Despite costly mobile incidents, 63 percent of businesses do not manage corporate information on personal devices, and 93 percent face challenges adopting BYOD policies.

? More mobile devices store sensitive customer information — More than half (53 percent) of all businesses surveyed report there is sensitive customer information on mobile devices, up from 47 percent last year.

“Without question, the explosion of BYOD, mobile apps, and cloud services, has created a herculean task to protect corporate information for businesses both large and small,” said Tomer Teller, security evangelist and researcher at Check Point.

“An effective mobile security strategy will focus on protecting corporate information on the multitude of devices and implementing proper secure access controls to information and applications on the go. Equally important is educating employees about best practices as majority of businesses are more concerned with careless employees than cybercriminals.”

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