Most mobile employees uninterested in mobile security

Most employees with mobile data access are uninterested in security, says a study of 700 users.

Most employees with mobile data access are uninterested in security, says a study of 700 users.

The global independent survey commissioned by Cisco and the National Cyber Security Alliance reveals behavioural findings among mobile wireless workers.

The 700 mobile employees questioned were based in the US, the UK, Germany, China, India, South Korea, and Singapore.

The survey found almost three of every four (73%) mobile users claimed that they are not always aware of security threats and best practices when working on the go.

Although many said they are aware "sometimes", 28% admitted that they "hardly ever" consider security risks and proper behaviour.

Some of these mobile users even admitted that they "never" consider safe best practices and did not know they needed to be aware of security risks.

When asked why they were lax in their security behaviour, many mobile users offered reasons such as, "I am in a hurry", "I am busy and need to get work done," and "it is IT's job, not mine".

Almost half (44%) of all mobile users surveyed said they open e-mails and attachments from unknown or suspicious sources.

In China, India, and the UK, more than half of users admitted to this behaviour. A significant number (76%) said it is more difficult to identify suspicious e-mails and files on PDAs and smartphones than on laptops, because the screens are much smaller.

Best practices that IT can work with mobile employees on to help address mobile security concerns:

- Use effective passwords that are changed every 90 days.

- Update antivirus and anti-spyware programs.

- Download necessary patches to operating systems regularly.

- Create backups of all important data and files.

- Encrypt sensitive data.

- Have an emergency response plan for wireless security breaches.

- Marry proactive education with proper technology that protects connections to networks, mobile and wireless devices as they leave corporate environments, and re-entry of those devices into corporate environments as they reconnect to corporate networks.

Source: Cisco

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