Security Threats in the Mobile World

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Employees want to access work files from the same mobile device they use to update their facebook status, check twitter feeds and text with friends; understandably so!

Across industries and the globe, employees have moved to smartphones and tablets to create a personalized and flexible work environment. Accessing corporate data from mobile devices that are familiar, convenient and readily available at all times makes workers more precise, efficient and well organized. Mobile devices have been adopted today, across industries including medical, financial services, retail and consumer companies etc, to drive and improve employee productivity. When, where and how work is done is based upon flexible data-input options, connectivity and the size of these personal devices. This has resulted in telecommuting becoming available to a broader set of employees, an alternative that helps an organization to better attract and keep hold of top talent.

Though mobile apps present immense convenience for users, they pose multiple risks to an organization’s information security. Threat to corporate network and data grows because many users store important and sensitive work information on their hand-held devices and can share this data through the internet, without considerable measures of security. The increasing number of mobile apps makes it all but impossible for IT to control use of standard software.

What’s more, the process of downloading applications can be a risky source of mobile malware that can break-in to the enterprise network because only a fraction of the mobile devices use antivirus software. However, it is all changing, as the types of mobile devices are constantly on the rise and employees are firm on using their own, advanced technology at their workplaces. Another complicating factor is the advances in technology that inspire users to upgrade devices much more frequently than in the past.

Mobile data traffic is likely to increase at a collective annual growth rate of more than 100 percent. In most cases, as mobile data traffic rises, data is not shared across a secure network, which would allow IT to block redundant sites and employ technologies such as Data Loss Protection (DLP). The merging of devices, apps and mobile data transmission has complicated the IT mission to secure corporate data and networks. Though many organizations have understood the enormity of these risks, only a few have taken action to solve it. However, businesses that actively address these risks and execute effective security capabilities can achieve great opportunities for better productivity and competitive advantages. An effective network security program requires continuous monitoring and analysis of network traffic to identify new security attacks.

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