Mobile Devices: Magnets for Security Breaches


Researchers in an IDG/Lookout survey of 100 business executives were surprised that 74 percent of the leaders polled said they had experienced a mobile-related security breach.

Maybe the revelation shouldn’t have been so surprising, given that 82 percent admitted that ‘most’ of their corporate data was accessible via mobile devices. Still, the news may be instructive to security-conscious companies that also have BYOD policies and practices in place. Survey respondents identified several sources through which their companies suffered data breaches, including:

  • Vulnerable mobile apps (38 percent)
  • Malware-rigged mobile apps (30 percent)
  • Unsecured WiFi connections (30 percent)
  • Rooted and jailbroken devices (30 percent)
  • Mobile apps that send or access sensitive data (28 percent)
  • Apps downloaded from non-official stores (15 percent)

Mobile devices are seldom a cyber thief’s primary attack vector, and none of the recent big-time breaches has been attributed to mobile devices. In fact, says InformationWeek’s Dark Reading blog, Windows PCs tethered to mobile WiFi devices, hotspots, and smartphones are the bad-guys’ sweet spot, accounting for 80% of all malware infections on today's mobile infrastructure.

Still, it would be a big mistake to ignore mobile security best practices or discount the possibility of mobile breaches occurring in your company, especially given projected increases in the number of mobile users.