Most businesses are failing to take security on smartphones as seriously as they do on laptops, says Howard Clegg, head of solution sales, Vodafone UK.
"It is difficult to get organisations to realise smartphones are as important as laptops in terms of security," he told the IDC Security Conference 2010 in London.
But, he said, many users were 15 times more likely to use smartphones than laptops to transmit sensitive information while on trains, at client sites and at hotels.
"With the rise in attacks on smartphones in 2010, these devices need to be considered in the same light as mini PCs," he said.
Few organisations do not have security measures in place for laptops, said Clegg, but few provide similar measures for smartphones.
"While Vodafone is encouraging the increased business use of smartphones, at the same time organisations need to ensure they know how to keep those devices secure," he said.
Any business using smartphones needs to implement an over-arching security wrapper for all mobile devices, said Clegg, to preserve the opportunity for flexibility and productivity they provide.
This is particularly important as the Information Commissioner's Office begins to look at how organisations are helping users to avoid data breaches, he said.
As far as the ICO is concerned, it is no longer enough to have policies in place regarding the use and protection of data, they must be actively helping users to comply, said Clegg.
Organisations with smartphone users should look to better user education and implementing multi-layered security protection technologies, he said, to include things like policy control and management, data protection, network protection, and endpoint protection.