Truth About BYOD and Risk from Cybercrime

While more firms explore Bring Your Own Device BYOD policies, cybercrime is rapidly growing for mobile devices.

More employers are adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work policies for mobile devices, but they neglect the risk of cybercrime. A recent study that Norton commissioned found that 431 million adults or ten percent of adults have experienced cybercrime on their smartphones at an annual cost of $114 billion. Earlier today, USA Today reported that Visa and Mastercard are alerting banks to a serious theft of customer data.

Cybercrime refers to  crime committed using the internet stealing bank or corporate intellectual property. With BYOD policies, many employers are neglecting to establish security and controls on employees’ personal devices that they are using at work. While 74 percent of respondents in the Norton survey indicate that they are aware of cybercrime threats, only 41 percent of adults have up-to-date software to protect them from this problem. In addition, less than half or 47 percent review credit card statements regularly for fraudulent activity, and 61 percent do not use complex passwords.

The risks and costs are clear. If employees are not taking the time to review their credit card statements for fraud, they are even less likely to check telephone bills for erroneous charges or suspicious activity. In another study, 77 percent of respondents said that the use of mobile devices in the workplace is important to achieving business objectives, while 76 percent believe that these tools introduce a “serious” set of risks. Despite the fact that they are aware of risks, only 16 percent of those who access the Internet using a mobile phone have up-to-date mobile security software.

Organizations need to proactively provide security for employees’ mobile devices. Wireless Expense Management WEM programs can help contain expenses and provide reporting to identify problems. Employers need to be aware of new threats like a Trojan application that surreptitiously sends SMS texts to premium-rate numbers, until the owner’s account balance is exhausted. In addition, hackers are seeking to exploit unprotected employees’ devices as entry points to mine more sensitive data on the network. Employers need to develop policies and utilize TEM software to reduce risks from security threats and runaway expenses. TEM, WEM, Mobile Device Management MDM and Managed Mobility Services are more important than ever with cybercrime.

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