Smartphone happy employees the weakest link in workplace security, new research claims

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Workplaces are failing to keep pace with employee behaviour, opening enterprises to countless security threats, a new report has claimed.

Research house Ovum said 47 percent of employees use their own smartphone to access corporate data, a quarter use a tablet, and eight percent use wearables to access information in some form.

However, less than 30 percent have any kind of device management or security functionality on those devices. Sixty two percent are using two or more devices for work purposes daily and 41 percent use three or more.

Ovum analyst Andrew Kellett said: “This report shows that we are waking up to a new work-life paradigm, and one that isn’t well enough supported by yesterday’s notions of security.  People expect to be highly connected, with unrestricted access to business systems and this is the new challenge for security platform vendors.”

He added: “It is essential that businesses embrace security outside of the traditional perimeter, rather than treat it as an extension of a Windows-first endpoint protection strategy.”

Scott Millis, CTO at Cyber adAPT, the security company which commissioned the report, added: “Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have been treating mobile like any other endpoint, building up their perimeters with point solutions from desktop legacy providers.

“This often frustrates users with aggravating experiences and leaves the business open to very specialized mobile attacks. Highly secure mobility is invisible at the point of use and because it is built to operate around their behaviour, empowers them to conduct their business wherever they are.”