Just days before National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Bitdefender carried out a study on a representative chunk of Internet users living in the United States to evaluate their attitudes and behaviors related to data security at work.
This may sound like a quote from Captain Obvious if you work in infosec, but for the sake of the wider readership, I’ll still say it: We did not have great expectations on the consumer side, as it is prone to error and to trading security for convenience.
When the survey results came in, they were pretty much in line with what we already knew: BYOD is riding high this year, and, subsequently, 71% of employed Americans who own personal mobile devices are allowed to connect them to their employers’ secure networks.
This would be no problem, except that the same study found 39.7% of users who connect personal mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and phones) to corporate networks have no lock-screen mechanism set in place.
If lost or stolen, these devices would immediately expose their contents (private and work-related information) to unauthorized third parties, which puts companies in a weak position. In contrast, only 9.1% of BYOD users rely on biometric features (face, voice, or fingerprint recognition) as the preferred method for unlocking their mobile devices.
Another worrying aspect revealed by the study is that these devices rarely have emergency mitigation features: Two-thirds of employed Americans either don’t have the remote wipe function activated or don’t know about it, which would allow a third party to profit from the device, account, and data stored on it indefinitely. This includes company data and email accounts.Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the Web without protection or how to rodeo with wild ... View Full Bio