Why you Should Safeguard Company Data on Mobile Devices

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It’s become an all-too-common occurrence for large companies to be impacted by a security breach that has exposed vulnerable customer data. Small businesses, as well as their larger counterparts, all have much to lose if customer data and other pieces of proprietary company information suddenly find themselves in the public pool. The scary thing is that this threat is no longer limited to just computers — mobile phones are at risk as well.

Here are four reasons why businesses should be increasingly concerned over security for mobile devices.

1. Malware for Mobile Devices is on the Rise

A 2011 report by research group Juniper Networks found that the amount of malware created to attack mobile devices across all operating systems more than doubled from the previous year, with nearly 28,500 examples. There is no indication that trend has changed. While nearly half targeted Android systems, it’s safe to say that all mobile platforms are at risk.

2. Popular Apps are Bigger Targets

Just as hackers attack the most popular apps used on PCs, the same holds true for smartphones. As certain apps grow in popularity and become more widely used, you can expect an increase in the number of threats against user’s mobile devices.

3. Many Company Policies Lack Security Incidence Plans

While nearly all states have laws in place that address procedures for notifying people when their personal information has been compromised (or there is great suspicion that it may have been) surprisingly few companies have policies to handle mobile security breaches. The best defense may be to step up smartphone security and greatly reduce such situations.

4. Security Breaches are Costly

Not only can your company and your customers be put in harm’s way of data theft, but a security breach brought about by an unprotected mobile phone can carry a very heavy price tag. In fact, the threat is so large that some are predicting a new revenue stream for the legal community in dealing with lawsuits against companies that have failed to adequately secure customer data. Though the comments may be a bit tongue in cheek, like remarks by Coalfire co-founder and CEO Rick Dakin recently in an article on mobile data security in The Epoch Times, the growing threat and the potential for mounting legal action, are no laughing matter.

The mobile and tech security industries are beginning to take notice of the growing threat to mobile devices and are offering a growing number of options. For example, as Blackberry introduces new smartphones, it has also introduced a new security platform that is aimed not just at its own smartphones, but at those with iOS and Android platforms as well. The new service, known as Secure Work Space, is designed to help companies gain better control over data that flows across their networks, even if the target is an employee’s personal phone.

As mobile device use continues to rise, the threat of malicious attacks on mobile security does as well. But putting security measures into place can help bring greater peace of mind and security to companies of all sizes.

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