Mobile Security a Constant Worry for IT

Friday, April 1, 2011 @ 03:04 PM gHale


With more workers bringing their smartphones to the office, information officers remain worried about mobile data security and how to manage employee devices, according to a recent research study.

About 76 percent of surveyed CIOs said employee-owned mobile devices are causing security headaches, and 78 percent didn’t know what mobile devices were connecting to the corporate network, the study found. Even more worrying, 77 percent of enterprises have no idea what data is on those employee devices connecting to the network, according to the report.

The report surveyed chief information officers (CIOs) from large organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom about their mobile security concerns in a mobile security report from Mformation Technologies. The report highlights the challenges facing CIOs trying to figure out which mobile devices connect to the network and what information they have access to, the company said.

“Enterprise mobility may well be a business imperative, but it remains a massive risk,” said Todd DeLaughter, chief executive of Mformation.

IT departments aren’t struggling with just employee-owned mobile devices, as only one out of three surveyed CIOs said they could track data on company-issued devices, the survey found. Only 23 percent knew what corporate data was on all mobile devices, regardless of who owned the device, in real-time, according to the survey.

In the event that the device is lost or stolen, only 56 percent of CIOs said they would be able to secure the data on the missing device, such as remotely wiping corporate data, according to the report.

Limited resources and a rapidly changing platform are the main reasons why CIOs have difficulty managing the mobile devices, said 77 percent of the respondents.

About 67 percent of the respondents said WikiLeaks has made them more worried about protecting and managing corporate data on mobile devices, according to the study. The country breakdown showed 72 percent of U.S. CIOs felt this way compared to 57 percent of UK CIOs.

The survey polled 200 CIOs in the United States and 100 CIOs from the United Kingdom. About half of the organizations had between 1,000 to 3,000 people, and the remaining half had over 3,000 employees, according to the report. The organizations covered the manufacturing, financial services, retail sector and “other” commercial sectors.



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