May 2, 2012

What’s The Real Mobile Security Threat? And, is Canada Prepared?

Fiaaz Walji

SC Canada

With only a few days remaining until SC Congress Canada 2012, I've been thinking again about what keeps IT security professionals up at night. Every time I ask my customers, I get a common response: mobility. The Bring Your Own Device phenomenon is weighing heavily on the minds of Canadian’s IT security elite. And they have a good reason to be concerned.

By 2014, 1.1 billion smartphones will be in use. Today, the average mobile worker has three devices:  smartphone, tablet, and laptop. Companies are allowing these devices to connect to their networks, despite their better judgment and the security risks. So, what’s the REAL mobile threat? Why is this a big deal?

New technology drives productivity, but it also increases risk.

Sensitive data on mobile devices travels – physically and electronically – from the office to home and other off-site locations. In addition, we expect to see targeted mobile-device attacks from malware, spyware, malicious downloads/mobile apps, phishing, and spam. That’s why some security experts see smartphones and other mobile devices as one of the most serious new threat vectors to an organization.

At SC Congress Canada, I’ll be discussing research from a Websense/Ponemon report that looks at the latest mobile risk intelligence from 451 Canadian security and IT professionals.  For example:

  • 58% of organizations experienced data loss resulting from employee use of unsecured mobile devices.
  • Canada is one of the countries that reported the most data loss and security exploits from mobile devices.
  • 45% say that their employees circumvent or disengage security features such as passwords and key locks.

BYOD is outpacing Canadian enterprise security and policy. I will tackle this issue alongside Dr. Larry Ponemon (Ponemon Institute), Michelle Warren (MW Research and Consulting), and Faiza Kacem (National Bank of Canada) at SC Congress Canada on Wednesday, May 9 at 9:00 a.m. at the SC Congress Canada. I hope to see you there. If you can’t make it, I’ll update you in another post after the show.

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.