Mobile Device Adoption Outpacing Security

Some 63 percent of mobile device users are unsure about whether they trust the security of mobile technologies, according to Juniper Network’s Trusted Mobility Index [PDF].

Some 63 percent of mobile device users are unsure about whether they trust the security of mobile technologies, according to Juniper Network’s Trusted Mobility Index [PDF].

That lack of certainty is appropriate considering that 30 percent of IT professionals in the study told Juniper Networks that their company experienced a “security threat” resulting from employees using personal devices to access company data. Among Chinese IT professionals, that number jumps to a staggering 69 percent.

Furthermore, Juniper Network’s Mobile Threat Center claims to have identified 8,608 new mobile malware samples in the first three months of 2012. Despite the rapid increase in malware (the vast majority of which is spyware), less than half of respondents to the Juniper Networks survey said that they actually read the terms and conditions before downloading apps, modify settings to improve data security on their devices or put any time into researching the applications they download. More concerning yet, 72 percent said they connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks and many of the respondents noted that they weren’t even sure of what the difference was between an unsecure and a secure Wi-Fi network.

Part of the mobile security problem, at least as far as the enterprise is concerned, is a widespread push for ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policies (which Dennis Fisher, Josh Shaul, and Jack Daniel recently discussed in a Threatpost Now video). Juniper Networks reports that 43 percent of the workforce believes that their IT department should support a BYOD policy. In addition, 41 percent of those surveyed said that they use their personal mobile devices for professional reasons without corporate permission.

And 32 percent of IT pros are concerned that employees will introduce malware to the corporate network from their personal mobile devices and 41 percent are worried that their company could be the victim of data breaches resulting from the theft or loss of an employee’s personal device.

On average, the Juniper Networks report claims that mobile users own three Internet connected devices. Beyond that, 18 percent of respondents told Juniper Networks that they owned five or more devices that connect to the Internet. Further, 76 percent of respondents use their devices to access online banking, personal medical information, or other sensitive data. Among those who also use their devices for business, just fewer than 90 percent admitted to using their devices to access such information as well.

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