New Survey Ranks Biggest Threats to Mobile Security

Oct 8, 2012 13:42:40Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

New Survey Ranks Biggest Threats to Mobile Security

As smart phones and tablets continue to evolve, mobile computing is becoming a popular way to stay connected. Along with this popularity, however, comes concerns, as mobile devices carry their own set of internet privacy issues. A recent survey from the Cloud Security Alliance ranks the most common threats to these devices, and the results may be particularly useful to small business owners who rely on such technologies for employee privacy.

"Personally owned mobile devices are increasingly being used to access employers' systems and cloud-hosted data, both via browser-based and native mobile applications," said John Yeoh, Research Analyst for the Cloud Security Alliance. "This without a doubt is a tremendous concern for enterprises worldwide. The results of this research will play an important role as we set out to develop much needed guidance on where time, talent and money should be placed when it comes to addressing mobile security threats."

At the top of the list of mobile threats is data loss stemming from a lost or stolen device. Smart phones and tablets are easy to transport, which is part of why they're so popular, but this also makes them more prone to theft or misplacement.

Malware comes in at number two. Mobile phone users must be wary of links and apps that could infect their device with malware, which can prompt a whole range of cell phone privacy problems.

The survey also indicates that insecure WiFi connections are a danger to mobile device users, as is something known as "proximity-based hacking," which relates to near field communication, an increasingly common way of sharing information among mobile devices.

Patrick Harding of Ping Identity says that the study underscores the threats that employers who allow a bring your own device (BYOD) policy face. "With more and more enterprises adopting a BYOD model, it is critical that mobile devices adhere to the same corporate security policies as other devices and that proper identity and access management processes are put in place to ensure the security and integrity of the organization."

This is why many employers prefer that their staff use one mobile number for work-related matters and an additional phone number for personal calls and texts. This ensures that employees adhere to corporate security policies whenever using their device in the office, but don't lose the value of having a personal device, either.