Corporate Mobile Device Usage & Security Risks Rising, Report

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A new report (PDF) from Dimensional Research reveals that mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are a major presence on corporate networks and that their propagation has brought with it new security risks and concerns.

The report, a survey of 768 IT professionals from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, was intended to determine the impact of mobile devices on corporate security but also reveals some interesting information about how corporations are using mobile devices and the use share enjoyed by today’s major smartphone players in the corporate environment. 

The report’s findings reinforce the notion that most corporations have embraced the use of mobile devices: 89% of corporations responding to the survey report that they have mobile devices currently in use on their corporate network. Further, 65% of respondents allow devices personally owned by employees to access their networks in addition to the devices provided by the companies.

Mobile Devices Connected to Corporate Networks

Chart by The Mac Observer from Dimensional Research Data

Of those respondents who allow mobile devices, the past two years have seen explosive growth in the number of devices in use for the majority of companies. 94% of respondents have seen some growth in the number of devices while 78% have seen between two and five times as many devices join their networks. Still further, 36% have seen a greater than five times increase in the same two year period.

Increase in Mobile Devices

Chart by The Mac Observer from Dimensional Research Data

Of the platforms that companies are using, Apple’s iOS platform enjoys a small lead over RIM’s Blackberry, a surprising statistic that contradicts the overall smartphone marketshare numbers. Android and Windows Mobile/Phone vie for third and fourth positions while Nokia’s Symbian trails as a distant fifth.

Mobile Device Use Share

Chart by The Mac Observer from Dimensional Research Data

Of the top three platforms, respondents were asked which contributed most to security risks. Android, with its inherently open structure, topped the list while iOS, a safer choice but not entirely secure, came in second. RIM’s Blackberry, a platform largely abandoned by the general market, was third. 

Greatest Security Risk

Chart by The Mac Observer from Dimensional Research Data

Regardless of platform, the majority of respondents found increased mobile device usage on their networks to be responsible for an increase in security incidents at their companies.

Increase in Security Risk

Chart by The Mac Observer from Dimensional Research Data

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), respondents labeled their own employees’ carelessness as the greatest security risk, outweighing malicious hackers by over two to one.

Cause of Increased Security Risk

Chart by The Mac Observer from Dimensional Research Data

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