Study: Businesses prioritize performance over mobile data security

PROVIDENCE – New survey results from Verizon’s 2018 Mobile Security Index show that almost a of organizations across multiple industries admit they’ve sacrificed cybersecurity due to speed-to-market priorities, with employees who use their own devices for work as a top concern.

According to a Verizon press release, the survey of about 600 companies showed that 32 percent admit to opting for improving business performance over mobile security. Almost all companies surveyed – 93 percent – agreed that mobile devices “present a serious and growing threat.”

Seventy-nine percent say the disruption of business operations would be a greater threat than data being stolen. And 39 percent of organizations that allow employees to use their own devices rank employee misuse, either accidentally or intentionally, as their top concern. Sixty-two percent feel that a lack of understanding of threats and solutions is a barrier to mobile security, according to the Verizon survey results.

Only one in seven organizations surveyed – 14 percent – had implemented the most basic cybersecurity practices, according to the press release. Less than two-fifths of companies – or 39 percent – change all default passwords, as is recommended.

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“As mobility becomes more integral to business operations in today’s digital economy … protecting mobile platforms is critical,” said Thomas J. Fox, Verizon senior vice president, in a statement. “Securing the multitude of mobile devices that connect to public and private networks and platforms is paramount for protecting corporate assets and brand integrity.”

Verizon recommends businesses reduce the risk of malicious applications, such as implementing policies on employees downloading apps; improving device management by deploying mobile endpoint security and threat detection to all devices; and increasing employee awareness by providing regular security trainings and other practices.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributor.