Security, Risk and the Mobile Device

Ponemon’s report, How Much is the Data on Your Mobile Device Worth? offers a startling view of how vulnerable individuals are when it comes to their smart phones and tablets. Here are a few key takeaways from the report that should change your perception about mobile device data use, storage and privacy.

Ubiquity

According to the survey, 73% of respondents admitted that they were addicted to their mobile device. 66% said they were more worried about losing their smart phone than their wallet. 20% say they just use their device for personal use only – emphasizing that BYOD is here to stay.

Security

Passwords are shared across work and personal accounts on mobile devices. Only 32% of respondents said they never share their passwords. By accessing work product on your personal device you essentially are giving your employer access to your device. This seems to correlate to the fact: 51% of respondents do not take any steps to protect their mobile data – and security features are not a priority to 57% of respondents when shopping for a mobile device.

Risk

55% of respondents are concerned about the work-related information they access and store – leaving a huge gap of 45% who are not concerned. A higher number of users are concerned by losing their mobile device while traveling (60%) or having it infected by malware or hacked (59%).

The biggest take away for me is the risk component– especially when we know that 41% of data breaches are caused by device loss or theft. While this number includes portable devices and physical records, the Ponemon study emphasizes BYOD is growing in popularity and mobile devices are being increasingly relied on – with limited security steps being taken.

Especially relevant as the PII we store on our mobile devices is now starting to include PHI with the advent of mhealth – which is expected to grow by over 30% in the next 6 years. The best time to prepare your organization for a breach is before it happens. In addition to security measures, organizations can manage risk by leveraging technology and expertise. Our webinar, PHI – Managing the Risks, Reaping the Rewards, is an excellent primer on taking the right steps to protect all data.

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