Businesses need to work harder to protect sensitive data
We’ve already highlighted increasing concerns surrounding security on the Android platform (http://www.bullguard.com/bullguard-security-center/security-articles/mobile-security---the-deal-with-apps-for-android-phones.aspx) and outlined some ways in which consumers can adapt their behaviour to stay safe. It’s not just the humble end-user that should adopt these practices however, as recent research from Canalsys shows that a large percentage of SMBs have been slow to react to the threat posed to mobile devices.
Of 814 companies surveyed in the U.S, a massive 86% admit that they have yet to adopt mobile-phone security as standard throughout the workplace. 66% of these admitted security was important, and cited awareness and cost as the main reasons for avoiding the issue thus far.
"Smaller companies can't keep pace"
"With Canalys estimating that the U.S. smartphone market will continue to grow by close to 30 percent over the next few years, mobile phone security represents both a big business risk and a market opportunity," said Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham. "The increasing number of private devices entering the workplace adds to the security problem, but smaller companies can't seem to keep pace with the appropriate protective measures."
The sheer amount of personal information, including passwords, sensitive documents, login details and correspondence stored on a mobile could spell disaster for some businesses if it were to fall into the wrong hands, so educating end-users on how to adopt safe usage practices should be a prime concern.
Pay attention to app requests
The fact that it is so easy to download and install applications on Android devices is a double-edged sword – few users pay enough attention to the services an application requests access to and are quick to accept these conditions regardless of consequence. Being aware of where the software came from and who developed it is vital, as is avoiding non-official marketplaces and unknown sources, though this will only get you so far.
Enterprise director Matthew Ball admits that the Android OS is high risk, especially as it grows in popularity in the workplace. "The growing acceptance of Android in the enterprise is a concern," said Ball. "Android could pose the biggest threat to mobile phone security, as it's arguably the highest risk platform. The growing number of application downloads – across all platforms – presents the biggest security threat, due to spyware, viruses and other forms of malware."
While dangers posed to Android users are a topical concern, the platform still comes second to BlackBerry smartphones in SMB space and with alternatives making up a significant proportion of the remainder, adopting a flexible security solution as standard would seem obvious. After all, the potential cost involved could seem like a small price to pay when considering the alternative.