Staff ignorant to mobile security policies: McAfee

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Staff ignorant to mobile security policies: McAfee
Horia Varlan, CC 2.0

Australian businesses pay twice as much for lost devices than those overseas.

Employees are more ignorant of device security policies than you think, according to a McAfee report.

The report (pdf) received 1500 responses from either IT security professionals or end users across 14 countries. One hundred were from Australia.

The research claims less than 20 percent of Australian users polled understand the policies, a third of the number anticipated by IT directors.

It also found 40 percent of respondent organisations have had devices lost or stolen.

The cost of the loss is more than double the global average.

The results and an edited list of McAfee’s synopsis from its Australian Data Sheet (pdf) follow:

There is a serious disconnect between policy and reality in the mobile computing environment

  • 95 percent of organisations have policies in place
  • Five in 10 organisations do not have a policy on the number of devices their employees are allowed to sync.
  • Four in 10 organisations allow employees to access the internet and download mobile apps freely using their mobile devices.
  • A third of businesses allow mobile device users to connect to the internal network with those devices. 

Lost and stolen mobile devices are the greatest security concern

  • Lost and stolen mobile devices are the biggest concerns of mobile users and IT directors.
  • 40 percent of organisations have had mobile devices lost or stolen.
  • Almost 60 percent of lost or stolen devices contained business critical data such as customer information, financial data and corporate IP
  • Two-thirds of mobile device losses in Australia have had a financial impact on the organisation – double the global average.
  • 63 percent of devices used in businesses are also used for personal activities.

Risky behaviours and weak security postures are commonplace

  • 70 percent of employees with access to their corporate network use the same mobile device for personal and business use
  • Four in 10 organisations provide access to data such as spread sheets or confidential records on mobile devices
  • 25 per cent of employees admitted to storing confidential work information on their mobile devices

Location-based technology is on the rise

  • 20 per cent of businesses are using location-based technology and 40 per cent are considering do so.
  • A quarter of respondents are using biometrics to authenticate mobile users, while another 22 per cent are considering it.
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