Porn, Facebook Cause Mobile Productivity, Security Concerns in UK


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YNOT EUROPE – Research released Monday by enterprise communications solutions provider Damovo UK indicates pornography and social networking are the biggest productivity and security threats faced by UK businesses with mobile workforces.

Fifty-five percent of information technology directors at organizations with more than 1,000 employees said mobile social networking presents major risks to their corporate networks and wastes employee time. Mobile porn followed as the primary concern of 30 percent, mobile gaming at 8 percent and mobile TV at 7 percent. Damovo suggested the threats be considered “emerging,” as they are likely to grow due to steady increases in the size of the mobile workforce brought about by advances in technology.

Ninety-two percent of respondents indicated more employees are using mobile devices to work remotely and access corporate networks, which concerns them because unsecured mobile devices serve as vectors for malware infection of secured networks. Ninety-five percent of IT directors said they expect their organization’s workforce to become even more mobile over the next 10 years, thereby introducing more routes through which threats can attack.

“Sophisticated mobile devices are becoming the de facto tool of choice for business users, yet it is clear that this is also bringing a whole raft of security and productivity concerns,” said Damovo UK Portfolio Manager Alex Donnelly. “Without properly provisioning and having an effective mobile device management strategy in place, organizations are going to incur increased support costs and risk losing the visibility and security they created in the fixed-desktop environment.”

Increasingly, workers employ the same mobile device for both business and personal use, which can make enforcing mobile usage policies difficult. In fact, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of IT directors admitted they found enforcing mobile usage policies a headache. Eighty-eight percent also admitted they would like better visibility of their employees’ mobile usage in order to more easily manage costs and improve mobile security across their organization.

Mobile security often is left in the hands of end-users, meaning important company and personal data can be compromised if devices are lost or stolen. In addition, the onus is on the end user to return mobile devices to the IT department or the device manufacturer when software needs upgrading. As a result, organizations often find many different devices running different software versions with differing levels of protection.

During a recent survey of 269,000 pornographic websites, International Secure System Lab discovered 3.23 percent harbored adware, spyware and viruses. Eighty-two percent of IT directors said they believe inconsistent upgrade cycles coupled with lack of comprehensive mobile usage policies leaves their networks vulnerable to much worse than a minor glitch.

“The latest mobile device management solutions can provide IT departments with far greater visibility and control over the mobile devices on their network,” Donnelly said. “Features such as ‘over the air’ updates,’ data encryption and remote data wiping also mean that IT departments can have greater peace of mind that their workforces’ mobile devices are secure, especially if they fall into the wrong hands.”

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