Global survey illustrates information security disconnect between IT and business users

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According to new data from a global snapshot survey from SOTI Inc., provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy management, more than 60 per cent of enterprises have experienced a data breach or loss of data. Employees surveyed in the study admit to engaging in mobile device usage behaviours that puts their business' data at risk. More than 73 percent of consumers accessed corporate data from a free or public Wi-Fi connection; nearly 65 per cent of consumers forwarded a work document or file to personal email address; and nearly 65 per cent used consumer cloud storage such as DropBox, Google Drive or SkyDrive for work files.

SOTI announced the results of the global snapshot to showcase the disconnect between a business' best efforts to protect its data and the common mobile workforce behaviours that post a significant risk to the company. SOTI polled IT and security experts separately from consumers to gauge the actions and attitude toward corporate security and data protection. Full analysis and statistics are available on the SOTI blog. Highlights from the snapshot include:

  • Almost one-third of IT professionals reported that accidental data exposure is the top security threat compared to only 16 percent for phishing, outside hackers and government spying.
  • Nearly 68 per cent of respondents receive a mobile device from their company. However, nearly 78 per cent of those employees still use a personal device to access corporate work data.
  • 60 per cent of enterprises have actively prevented a data breach, but less than 50 per cent have a mobility strategy. This highlights a significant blind spot on mobile threat vectors because only 34 per cent are using an enterprise mobility management solution.
  • 67 per cent of IT professionals listed device theft as one of the top user behaviours that concerned them most. However, only less than seven percent of consumers have lost a device.
  • There is considerable pull for attention on which threat vectors to target. 36 percent of IT professionals have targeted mobile application vulnerabilities as a top priority over the last 12 months. An equal number also reported that Internet of Things technologies, such as Bluetooth-connected smart devices, increased in priority.
  • While 80 per cent of consumers are allowed to use corporate-issued devices over public or free Wi-Fi, only 66 percent are allowed to access corporate-owned services over those connections.

"Ignorance is not a strategy. IT and employees need to work together to forge secure mobile device usage practices regardless of who owns the device," SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues said. "With the number of connected devices that will increasingly link to corporate networks, IT needs to proactively build their arsenal of defenses to protect from the new frontier of enterprise threats. Part of that arsenal needs to be an understanding of how employees actually utilize their mobile devices and the behaviours they actually engage in that put the business, the network, and corporate data and apps at risk. Being proactive about this now will reduce IT strife in future and allow the business to reap the transformative and financial benefits of mobility and a connected workforce, without the looming threats."

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