Mobile Workforces And A Recipe For Disaster

The use of mobile and wireless computing is rapidly on the rise and so are the related security risks.

A recent survey commissioned by CompTIA revealed that of the 1070 companies surveyed almost 80 percent allow remote access to company data. As one might expect, well over half said that their security issues had increased due to the use of hand held device and wireless networks.

Surprisingly, 68 percent of the companies have not given employees any type of security awareness training. Combined with the companies' growing use of mobile computing, the situation is a recipe for disaster.

Some organizations learn the tangible value of security awareness training the hard way. In 2006 alone tens of millions of people's private information fell into the hands of company outsiders. Ernst & Young, the Federal Trade Commission, Equifax, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Boeing, and numerous other entities all experienced theft of laptops, and all of those laptops contained sensitive information about private citizens.

"Organizations that do not train their mobile workers in security fundamentals are doing themselves a great disservice," said, John Venator, president and chief executive officer at CompTIA. "Nearly 90 percent of organizations \[surveyed\] that have implemented awareness training for remote and mobile workers believe that the number of security breaches they've encountered has been reduced."

According to statistics published by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, in 2006 laptop theft and incompetence (both in end users and software developers) where among the two most common causes of data breaches in organizations operating in the private and public sector. The overall problem has grown significantly worse in 2007.

TAGS: Security
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