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This week, Juniper Research estimated that the number of employee-owned smartphones and tablets used at work is set to reach 350 million by 2014, up from 150 million in 2012. With new smartphones and tablets inundating companies worldwide, IT security teams are struggling to determine acceptable use policies. It goes beyond corporate BlackBerries and laptops to the newest BYOD (like iPads, iPhones, etc).
To help teams manage the mobile influx, we just released a new five-part Websense Mobile Acceptable Use Policy Kit. It provides a guide to help your company embrace mobile devices, communicate with employees, and keep confidential data secure. You can confidently use this guide to help you get started on your company’s acceptable use policy or to supplement your existing mobile device acceptable use policy.
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.
I’ve been to countless RSA Conferences. Two years ago it was about who survived. Last year was cloud hype. This year: mobile security.
In our booth, I demonstrated our new mobile security solution on an iPad non-stop. To the point of shoulder pain and post-show massage therapy after holding that thing up for hours and hundreds of demos to eager onlookers. The interest in mobile security is very real.
So how big is the problem?
We had the Ponemon Institute survey more than 4,000 IT professionals in 12 countries. It is clear from the answers that corporate mobile devices and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon are absolutely circumventing enterprise security and policies. Fifty-nine percent report that employees circumvent or disengage security features like passwords and key locks. A lost device with no password is an open door to email, calendars, social circles, and apps that access confidential information. And just over half experienced data loss because of unsecured mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones, USB devices, and tablets. The problem is big.
Most IT pros know that by enabling a mobile workforce they are supporting business productivity, but they also recognize the risk. Check out the full results of the survey here.
I can’t say this often enough: standard mobile device management (MDM) isn’t enough. You really need to look at the new Websense TRITON Mobile Security solution that we announced the RSA Conference. It combines four components (web security, data security, mobile malware / app protection, and mobile device management features). As a cloud security service, it prevents confidential data loss on iPads, iPhones, Android, and other mobile devices.
Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.
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