Follow BT News

BT report encourages organisations to protect themselves against mobile security breaches

Press release   •   Nov 04, 2014 00:00 GMT

Mobile devices represent a significant security risk for business, yet many are failing to make adequate provisions to protect their valuable data against threats.

Mobile security breaches have affected 41 per cent of UK organisations in the last 12 months, according to a new study from BT. Despite this, organisations are still not taking sufficient security measures to protect themselves against mobile threats, such as lost or stolen devices and malware infections. In fact, the report reveals that at least one fifth of respondents’ organisations that suffered a mobile security breach, experienced more than four incidents in the last year.

The research explores the attitudes of IT decision makers towards security within their organisations. It shows that uptake of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and COPE (Corporately Owned Personally-Enabled) devices is very high, with 95 per cent of UK organisations allowing employees to use these devices for work purposes.

However, just over a third (35 per cent) of UK organisations actively had a BYOD policy. In this environment, device security is falling by the wayside: only 15 per cent of respondents felt that their company had sufficient resources in place to prevent a mobile security breach. Surprisingly, nearly 10 per cent still do not have password protection, and just over half (55 per cent) report that their organisation has IT security training for all.

The report highlights that while 33 per cent of personal or corporate owned mobile devices have full access to the internal networks or contain sensitive client information, a third of organisations (34 per cent) do not have any kind of enforceable mobile security policy.

For those that do, the average length of time between reviewing mobile security measures in the UK is 10 months. The infrequency of this is cause for concern, as many IT decision makers believe that the rate of malware infections will be on the rise in the next three to five years. Security breaches, such as lost or stolen devices, malware infections such as viruses, spyware, and Trojan Horses, or the loss or theft of company or customer data, have had a major impact on business processes, including taking up valuable help desk time and other IT resources. They have reduced employee productivity, day to day activity and even customer experience, as well as causing reputational damage. Some have even resulted in hefty fines.

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, said: “Today’s threat landscape shifts very quickly so it is important for organisations to start with security in mind, rather than add it as an afterthought. This will ensure that security processes develop with them, and not after them. This makes the task of being security-led much more straightforward.”

Staff attitudes remain the biggest threat to data security. The report reveals that 81 per cent are not taking the security of devices seriously. However, delving further into this, it becomes clear that this attitude trickles down from the top: sixty-nine per cent of UK IT decision makers do not believe their CEO takes security very seriously. This is concerning, as security programmes need to have complete top down buy-in in order to be successful, with everyone from the CEO right throughout the organisation taking part.

Mark Hughes said: “If CEOs are passionate about making security practices work, then these will inevitably become an intrinsic part of people’s lives. Problems usually arise when people don’t understand the risks and the impact that neglecting security could cause for the business, as well as for them personally. A security breach could cause a share price drop and reputational brand damage. This means that security is everyone’s job.

“At BT, we are working with many leading global organisations to help educate them about security risks and put in place proactive defences. When people understand the repercussions of not adhering to security practices, and are given the tools to prevent them, organisations will truly be able to reap the many benefits of mobility and BYOD.”

ENDS
Notes to editors:

About the research
This research was undertaken by Vanson Bourne in September and October 2014 on behalf of BT. A total of 640 interviews with IT decision makers from large sized organisations (1000+ employees) were carried out across 11 regions: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Middle East, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, UK and USA. Respondents’ organisations were from the financial, retail and public sectors.

BT Security BT Security is building on 70 years’ experience of helping organisations around the globe and across all sectors get ahead of the threat curve and reduce the uncertainty and complexity of security. We provide an end-to-end capability to help organisations enjoy higher levels of security at a time when security budgets are not keeping pace with the threat landscape.

The sophistication of our security operations means that we think about the assets, the people, and the processes, and combine these with both network and security intelligence to help our customers stay ahead of the security risks. BT Security protects both BT and its customers. These customers are advised by a global team of 2,000 security practitioners and professional services consultants. To find out more about BT Security, visit www.bt.com/security.

BT One Mobile
BT One Mobile is continuing to deliver on our vision to provide the best mobile experience for our customers and their users – be that in connectivity, value, service or functionality. We are responding to our customers changing needs by bringing together our BT One and Enterprise Mobility portfolios to allow simple collaboration across both mobile and fixed networks. The BT One Mobile portfolio covers:

• One Mobile
• One Mobile secure
• One Mobile global
• One Phone
• One Voice expenses

About Vanson Bourne
Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis, is founded upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit www.vansonbourne.com