Enterprise Smartphone Usage Trends – Security Awareness Missing!

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Enterprise Mobility space is getting really interesting with the sudden explosion in the smartphone and tablet choices in the market. We earlier wrote about tablet usage in enterprises and now we have some interesting trends on enterprise smartphone usage Threat Post report released by Kaspersky Lab.

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Smartphone Usage Trends In Enterprise

  • As many as 66% of the surveyed organizations supply employees with smartphones.
  • 18% of the organizations have 75-100% employees using smartphone whereas around 22% of organizations have less than 5% employees using smartphones.
  • Organizations are a little skeptical of supporting personal smartphones. Majority (54%) of the organizations do not support non-company supported smartphones.
  • Work e-mail is the primary task for which smartphones are used in enterprises. 91% of the surveyed used their smartphone for checking work e-mails while a good 46% use smartphones to connect to company wireless networks

Blackberry Continues To Be The Most Preferred Smartphone

Blackberry with its encrypted security features does justify the preference for it, but I am assuming this trend will change in favor of iPhone and Android phones as employees start using smartphones for more complex tasks.

However, it is really interesting to see Android Based phone usage percentage what with the general enterprise scepticism about open source.

Heartening Usage Trends, But Are Enterprises Beefing Up Security

One would think that of all things enterprises are concerned about security proofing all IT infrastructure in the organization. Be it intranet, internet or VPN networks, enterprises ensure that all incoming/outgoing channels are aptly secured.

However, it does not seem to be the case as far as securing smartphones go.

A meagre 31% of the organization require a security software on smartphone used by employees

That is a significantly low percentage especially when compared with the increasing smartphone usage in the enterprise. As employees increasingly use their smartphone for more and more tasks, it is even more critical that the right security is put in place.

One possible logic that I initially thought could explain the low security requirements for smartphones could be due to the fact that not a lot of security threats would have taken place. However, the report highlights that organizations have already witnessed a wide variety of security attacks from unsecured smartphone usage.

With as many as 85% of the surveyed organizations allowing employees to connect to public Wi-Fi networks, the possibility of security threats is bound to be there. It is surprising to see the significantly low levels of security concerns for smartphones.

What is even more surprising than organizations not providing security softwares is that very few even consider providing security awareness training for employees using smartphones.

I think a lot of unwarranted attacks could be thwarted if employees are made aware of the kind of threats they can be exposed to be while using smartphone and the various channels they can spread from.

Personal and Enterprise usage of smartphones and tablets is only going to increase over next few years. Organizations globally will have to beef up security measures specifically for these new enterprise mobility devices to ensure that productivity does not come at the cost of security.

What are your thoughts on the below par security standards followed by organizations when it comes to smartphones? Could it be that even though organizations understand the value in encouraging employees to use smartphone, they still haven’t reached maturity in terms of developing a secured framework for the same?

You can download the complete report here [Free registration required]

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