Surprising Stats About Mobile Security

— February 11, 2013

IT security and data protection are the top ranked challenges faced by many mobile IT asset managers. This was certainly brought to light in Mobile Enterprise’s IT headaches executive survey, and recent research from the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) brings this to light as well.


When IAITAM asked: how do organizations handle mobility and security? Fifty five percent of respondents access the enterprise from a remote location during off hours and the same number can access enterprise information from any BYOD device. Yet only 60% of organizations track how, how long or who is accessing remotely.

Out of those employees who do access the enterprise remotely, slightly more than half use a secure key or digital pass, while 49% use a login name and password on a secure site. A little more than half (53%) of organizations surveyed have an intrusion protection system for deployed mobile units.

Lost/Stolen Devices Covered
Nearly 90% of respondents have a mobile device policy and process in place for lost, misplaced or stolen mobile devices. At the same time, little more than a quarter have real-time location system tracking on any/all mobile devices. Still, 56% say they are able to perform a remote wipe of all data.

Less than half (43%) will automatically replace a lost, misplaced or stolen device within a 24 to 48 hour period. Eighty-four percent of companies have a firm policy that employees leaving the company must surrender their mobile device(s).

Tracking software downloaded on devices and preventing software downloads came in third and fourth as the most challenging issues, respectively, but with the predicted growth of mobile malware, this number could change going forward.

Asset Tracking?
Nearly 60% believe that they are managing mobile security adequately, but nearly 75% surveyed felt that licensing and management of mobile device assets is a challenge; 52% track their assets using an automated tool, while 36% still use spreadsheets. Another 12% are not tracking mobile assets at all. Members of the Mobile Enterprise Editorial Advisory recently had few things to say about this topic.

The main software programs accessed through a mobile handheld device or smartphone are Microsoft (85%), Google (52%) and Adobe (26%). Many of these same software publishers aggressively protect their intellectual property through software audits.

BYOD
Fifty-one percent of organizations surveyed had a BYOD or BYOT [technology] program that allows employees to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes. Surprisingly, 60% who took advantage of a BYOD program only accounted for 25% or less of employees who brought in their personal devices. 
 
More than three-quarters (77%) allow their employees to use their corporate mobile devices for personal use, and 55% allow downloading of apps at the discretion of each employee without monitoring.

“A whopping 96% think that organizations will be forced to alter the way they manage their mobile assets as more and more types of devices are added to the mobile ecosystem,” said Barbara Rembiesa, CEO, IAITAM. “Mobile asset management hasn’t reached maturity yet and many organizations need to implement best practice strategies. While we see that there are great strides made to manage mobile assets and mobile workers, there are still many implementation and policy gaps.”

Nearly three-quarters of companies have implemented a mobile device policy across their organization with more than half (53%) of employees believing that they are “in compliance” with their mobile device, but that leaves 47% — a huge percentage within the enterprise — who don’t feel that they are “in compliance."

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