Only 14 percent of respondents in a recent survey say their organizations currently use eve the most basic cybersecurity businesses. The survey was conducted by mobile carrier Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in an effort to raise awareness, not only of the mobile security landscape, but also of the growth of mobile computers among both consumers and businesses.
Verizon Mobile Security Index 2018
The inaugural Mobile Security Index 2018 report from Verizon provides insights into the growing threats faced by mobile users as use of the technology expands. The study also makes recommendations to combat these threats in the mobile ecosystem.
For small businesses, protecting the mobile ecosystem must now take equal precedence with protecting more traditional computer networks and technology, the report explains. With mobile being more important for the day-to-day communications, interactions and transactions of small businesses today, security must take top priority for these systems too.
Thomas T.J. Fox, Senior Vice President of the Wireless Business Group at Verizon, explains how vital mobile has become. In a press release announcing the report, he says, “As mobility becomes more integral to business operations in today’s digital economy — from supply chain management to IoT-enabled sensors to customer-facing mobile apps — protecting mobile platforms is critical.”
The survey for the report was carried out in the second half of 2017. An independent research company was commissioned by Verizon to survey more than 600 professionals responsible for mobile technology in their organizations. Eighty-three percent of the participants were based in the US, and the remaining 17 percent were from the UK. The survey covered industries in financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, retail and hospitality and technology.
Key Takeaways from the Report
The vast majority or 85 percent of respondents said their businesses face at least a moderate risk from mobile security threats, and over a quarter or 26 percent said this risk was significant. As to the serious and growing threat mobile security presents, 93 percent of organizations agreed it was definitely an issue.
Even with this high-level of recognition concerning the security threat, 32 percent of respondents admitted to sacrificing mobile security to improve business performance.
When it came to protecting their mobile ecosystem, only 14 percent or one in seven reported having even the most basic cybersecurity practices in place. And when there was a system in place, best practices were not applied.
Only 39 percent of respondents reported their organizations had even changed all default passwords, leaving almost two thirds or 61 percent of companies surveyed extremely vulnerable. Two-factor authentication was used by only 38 percent of these companies, and only 59 percent had restrictions as to what apps their employees could download on their mobile devices.
Recommendations from Verizon
In the report, Fox says, “Nothing is 100 percent secure.” However, he stated the goal is to lower the risk to an acceptable level for all organizations. In the process, businesses should make it as hard as possible for bad actors to breach the security systems they have in place.
Verizon recommends restricting what apps can be downloaded by employees, improving device management and threat detection with endpoint security, and increasing employee awareness with best practices and strict governance.
You can read the full report and the recommendations from Verizon here.
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