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Data loss continues to threaten enterprise mobile security

By September 19, 2016blog

Four in 10 companies have suffered a loss of key corporate data from a mobile device, according to new research from industrial IT services provider NetEnrich.

The study, which polled 150 North America-based IT professionals found 41% of respondents have lost between $50,000 and $100,000 over the past three years due to a mobile device security breach.

The biggest causes of mobile device data loss were malware apps (45%); an unsecured public cloud (44%); users cutting and pasting data to unsecured or public locations (42%); mobile devices running older versions of operating systems known to have security holes (41%); and Advanced Persistent Threats lurking on mobile devices or servers (40%).

Earlier this month, a malware report from Nokia found mobile device infections rose 96% in the first half of 2016. Smartphone infections nearly doubled between January and July 2016 compared to the last half of 2015. The malware infection rate hit a record high in April, when one out of every 120 smartphones had some sort of malware infection.

While the BYOD (bring your own device) trend has no desire to slow down, the proliferation of mobile devices has created significant challenges for corporate IT security professionals, and have become an increasingly attractive target for cybercriminals. . Predictions from mobility analysts all point to more personal devices being used for work and even more business apps being deployed.  While enterprise mobile security concerns, breaches and attacks aren’t new, enterprise mobility and enterprise mobility security is one of the fastest changing areas for IT.

The report also examines the measures companies have taken to remediate their security policies. More than three quarters (78%) say they use multi-factor authentication for access to sensitive apps, while 75% have deployed threat assessment to understand their security risks. More than half (52%) say they have gotten outside help by outsourcing at least some of their mobile security, with a similar number (47%) saying the external provider helped them formulate a security policy.

The NetEnrich report suggests companies become more proactive in engaging employees about mobile security policies, as well as work with partners and vendors who develop modern mobile security solutions and best practices, and who understand both the corporate security and employee user-experience demands of the organization.