Centrify Survey Reveals Some of Us Think Mobile Security is Not Our Problem

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Centrify, an identity management software firm, recently published a survey which compiled the security habits of 500 employees at mid-to-large companies.

The most disturbing findings? 15% of employees say they feel “minimal to no” responsibility to protect corporate data stored on their mobile devices. And 10% do not have any password, PIN, or other security measures in place to protect their mobile devices they use for work purposes.

Given the near constant stream of news about hackers accessing supposedly “secure” corporate information, it goes without saying that lax security on your mobile device is a very, very bad idea.

Other Report Findings

The survey also found the following information:

  • Nearly half (45%) have more than six third-party apps installed on their mobile phones they use for work.
  • 43% have accessed sensitive corporate data while using a public WiFi network.
  • More than 15% of the employees in the survey reported a compromised personal account or password at least one time.

How to Keep Your Mobile Phone Secure

It’s clear that we are using our mobile phones to do what we once only used our computers for. That includes using it for work. But if we are going to use our mobile phones to access sensitive corporate data, we should take steps to protect that data, including the following:

  • Make sure your mobile phone is password-protected: This is mandatory. Make sure that only you can access your phone by configuring a password or PIN.
  • Be careful when installing or using any third-party apps: Many apps can access your location information, and some can even access your friends list. A good rule of thumb is to only install apps that you absolutely trust, and make sure that you know what they can access.
  • Don’t access public WiFi networks when accessing corporate data: Anything you do on your phone can be “sniffed” by a hacker accessing the same network. It’s very easy to do, and if you are accessing corporate data, the hacker can see all of that information as well.
  • Install a VPN: If you are accessing corporate data on your mobile phone, you should be sure to use a VPN like PRIVATE WiFi to protect your communications.

Clearly, organizations need to continue their efforts to educate their employees about the risks inherent to any device, especially mobile ones, since many do not think about it. And they should establish protocols to ensure that employees are safeguarding their devices and applications that they use for work.

And employees should take it upon themselves to make sure that they are implementing best security practices and safeguarding all the data, both their personal stuff and sensitive corporate information, that they access on their mobile phone.

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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.