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Can you afford the risk of a mobile data breach?

November 17, 2017

 
This is the first post in a two-part Valadian content series on mobile data risk. This post explores the scale and frequency of mobile data breaches. Part two will explore practical strategies for securing your mobile environment.
 
It’s no secret that cyber-attacks are more sophisticated, costly and focused on mobile than ever before.

 

By 2020, wireless and mobile device traffic will account for two-thirds of total global IP traffic (Cisco). What does that mean for the enterprise and data security? Well, mobile devices are essentially moving targets outside of a company’s firewalls, threat management, spam filters and most other security tools. And while they lie outside of the company’s security perimeter, they also grant access to some of the most sensitive information inside the company: email, customer data, HR information, and sales and business strategy and plans.

 

The growth in digital traffic and mobile endpoints leaves companies open to more attacks, via more targets and approaches. Employees are increasingly working on the go and using a greater number of apps, leaving corporate data exposed and vulnerable. BYOD and cloud apps are the norm, and without visibility and monitoring, it is nearly impossible for IT to detect and thwart suspicious activity related to a data breach. 

 

In our last post, Mobile VPN: The what, the why (or why not) and the how, we introduced some of the ways that cyber attackers can breach the mobile environment. Whether cybercriminals intercept data via man-in-the-middle attacks, install malware via rogue hotspots, or dupe your employees with good old fashioned spam (which is making a comeback according to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report), one fact remains the same: the more unsecured employee devices accessing your network, the greater your risk of a data breach.

 

With the magnitude and frequency of threats, IT and security professionals can’t afford to wait around — they need an effective program to secure and monitor mobile devices – or risk a security breach. But we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know. That same Cisco report found that the biggest concerns related to cyber-attacks are mobile devices, according to 58% of respondents.

 

Many IT and security departments feel that budgets are tight, resources are limited and there’s simply not the time for another huge project like Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). But the likelihood of a breach and the cost of business as usual can be startling:

 

  • 67% of companies included in a recent Ponemon Institute survey have experienced a breach from an employee’s mobile device. (Source: Ponemon Institute, 2016)

  • 48% of organizations do not know whether their users’ BYOD and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device from a limited set of devices defined by IT) devices have been exposed to malicious Wi-Fi networks. (Source: Information Security LinkedIn Community)

  • It costs $9,485 per infected device to investigate, contain, and remediate mobile malware-based attacks. (Source: Ponemon Institute, 2016)

  • One-third of organizations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss of more than 20%. (Source: Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report)

 

Can you afford to lose 20% of your revenue?

 

Trying to restrict the data that employees can access on their devices would greatly decrease the productivity and collaboration that mobile devices enable.

 

But with sensitive data more readily accessible by employees and attacks more likely than ever, companies need to put controls and policies in place to secure corporate data. Whether devices are corporate or employee-owned, they should be secured with a centralized, manageable EMM strategy and solution.

 

Stay tuned for part two in this content series: How to find the right EMM solution for your organization. You can monitor for threats and automate security compliance without blowing your budget or intruding on the privacy of personal devices.

 

Don’t want to wait for the next blog post to find out how to best secure your mobile environment? Contact us at info@valadian.com for a no-cost assessment of your existing mobile landscape and EMM recommendations.

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