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Risk

6/25/2009
10:05 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Mobile Security: IT Pros Anything But Secure With Mobile Devices

Do as they say, not as they do might be a good description of the practices of IT professionals when it comes to mobile devices. A new survey from Credant shows that IT Professionals are not much better than anyone else when it comes to using a password to protect data stored on phones or other mobile devices.

Do as they say, not as they do might be a good description of the practices of IT professionals when it comes to mobile devices. A new survey from Credant shows that IT Professionals are not much better than anyone else when it comes to using a password to protect data stored on phones or other mobile devices.The survey, conducted by security firm Credant found that IT Professionals (attending a Eurpean security, of all things, conference) found that while they are using their cell and smartphones (including personal phones, often in contravention of company policy) for business calls and, critically, storage of business data, 35% don't use password protection on the devices.

That's a record nearly as poor as the general public's: in the UK, Credan reports, 40% of all mobile phone users go without password protection.

I doubt that the figures are much better here.

Other findings from the Credant survey of phone use among IT professionals:

80% stored business names and addresses on their devices

66% stored personal names and addresses

23% had business emails on their phones

16% of the professionals' phones held personal emails

12% had bank account details on their phones

12% had a business diary with details of all their appointments and meetings

5% had credit card information stored on a phone And -- this shouldn't be a surprise -- among the 227 IT workers surveyed...

1% stored passwords and PIN numbers on their phones!

Credant's respondents indicated that sales professionals were the worst at leaving data on unsecured phones, while HR professionals tended to be the most secure, probably because of the large liability HR carries if confidential employee data is exposed.

Might be a good idea to run a survey of your own staff -- and not just your IT staff --to find out a) what business information they have on their phones and b) how well protected that data is.

It is, after all, the data that's on phones and mobile devices that makes them hot commodities on the crime circuit, not the devices themselves.

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