Employees of European small and medium businesses (SMBs) are a security risk, with most claiming they would take more than an hour to report the loss or theft of a company-owned mobile device.
A survey by security firm Kaspersky Labs found that 77% of staff would not inform their IT department of the loss of a mobile device within an hour. IT managers are aware of the problem, with 25% believing it would take staff half a day to report the loss, and 29% a full working day.
“The ever-growing abilities of mobile devices make our lives much easier. However, what we don’t always consider, is the ease with which such tools can be stolen, leaving a wealth of business critical information in the hands of thieves,” notes David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Emm points out that delays in reporting a lost or stolen device means cybercriminals have plenty of time to crack the four-digit password protection typically used to protect businesses’ mobile devices. “It will take only a matter of minutes to bypass,” he states, adding that the faster IT departments know about a problem, the faster they can block that unit’s access to the “corporate network and, in the best case, wipe all of its data.”
Kaspersky Labs’ survey involved 1,762 IT decision makers and influencers in European companies with between 10 and 500 employees. It also found that 35% of IT managers believe data encryption is a better way of protecting mobile devices than a password, while 54% back the password-only approach.
The firm’s warning on corporate security comes a week after mobile internet services provider NQ Mobile revealed the number of mobile malware threats surged 163% year-on-year in 2012.