Mobiles threatens business security

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Mobiles threatens business security

Security is the main obstacle in the adoption of wireless and remote computing for businesses worldwide, according to survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Symantec.

Security is the biggest obstacle in the adoption of wireless and remote computing for businesses worldwide, according to survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Symantec.

The report said more than 60 percent of companies are holding back on deployment, citing security concerns. Close to 47 percent of respondents said cost and complexity was a major obstacle to deployment and one in five businesses have already experienced financial loss due to attacks via mobile data platforms.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s research shows the weaknesses in firms emphasises the need for security for mobile devices. While 82 percent of businesses worldwide indicate that they see the damage from virus attacks as the same or greater on a mobile network than on a fixed network, only 26 percent have actually assessed security risks of smart phones, compared with 81 percent of enterprises conducting security assessments for laptops.

Despite the wide-use of mobiles device use in an organisation only nine percent of companies have incorporated a comprehensive security architecture designed to include mobile device access.

Of the rest, ten percent of companies have no measures for addressing mobile security, thirty-nine percent are granting mobile devices access to corporate networks on an ad hoc basis and another 39 percent are integrating mobile devices into their existing fixed network security architecture.

Symantec’s director of mobile and wireless solutions Paul Miller said organisations needed to gain experience in mobile deployments and security.

"While most enterprises are aware of the risks introduced with mobility, they continue to lack the appropriate security measures and policies required to protect themselves from potential threats," he said.

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed around 240 global companies. The research also looked at business readiness to respond should a security threat be realised.

Regional responses were aligned on a number of matters, with regional contrast strongest around security risk assessment on specific devices and security software deployment. For example, 55 percent of Western European businesses have deployed security software to protect mobile data, compared to 44 percent in Asia-Pacific and just 36 percent in North America.

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