Evolving Mobile Data Security Risk

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In 2010, Oracle surveyed more than 3,000 people from around the globe to discover how people communicate. The overwhelming response was mobile, mobile, mobile. In 2011, Oracle conducted a second survey calling it The Future of Mobile Communications-Take Two. This upgraded report delivered interesting results about mobile phone usage and the perceptions of mobile devices.

I don’t think we have to discuss the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend or the fact that employees are using mobile devices to share files & access business applications. The lightning fast proliferation of data hungry users is the thing that organizations and IT managers are trying to manage. The respondents of Oracle’s 2011Future of Mobile Communications-Take Two report confirm that these trends are permanent. That’s bad news for our telephone booth frequenting super hero.

How data hungry were the users from the survey? Over the past year alone, mobile data usage increased 47%. Even more remarkable is the fact that 55% of those surveyed reported having downloaded a mobile app, up significantly from 42% in 2010.  The most dangerous threats posed by downloaded mobile apps are well-documented in Veracode's Mobile app top 10 list. Even more notable was the fact that 25% of mobile web users are mobile only.

When respondents were asked if they think that information stored or transmitted with a mobile device is secure, the results were disproportionate. Thirty-two percent of those asked thought their information was secure. Sixty-eight percent said that they didn’t think the information stored or transmitted with a mobile device was secure.

People can be their own worst enemy when it comes to security.  Ten percent of all iPhone users have 0000 or 1234 as a device password. The fact that there are mobile data security programs available and not being used is indefensible.

For all these reasons, mobile devices are the most popular target for data theft.  In several upcoming blog posts we will discuss some Dos and Don’ts of mobile device security and take a closer look at mobile security compliance.

Nagar, M. (Designer). (2011). Introduction and evolution. [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.bluegenietech.com/blog/tag/history-of-mobiles/

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