Study reveals ignorance in mobility

If a recent IDC Canada report is any indication, high-profile cases of stolen mobile devices and compromised personal information may have little effect on how Canadian businesses view security threats to wireless and mobile devices.

According to IDC’s Enterprise Security Survey: Threats and Issues, over 35 per cent of large organizations believe wireless and mobile devices pose “no real threat” to IT security, while only 27.3 per cent view these devices as a significant threat. The discrepancy is even greater among medium-sized firms, where more than 54 per cent said these devices are not a real threat and only 14.7 per cent said they pose security risks.

IDC probed 200 medium-sized organizations and 170 large enterprises in Canada. Trojans, viruses and worms topped the list of security concerns.

“I don’t think medium-sized companies think about security nearly as much as they should and it could potentially be a problem for them down the road,” said Joe Greene, vice-president of IT security research at IDC Canada. He added that organizations tend to focus more on the “wired world” of worms and viruses, but wireless technology is becoming so pervasive that organizations have to adopt a more holistic strategy around IT security.

While many high-profile breaches have involved stolen laptops, other mobile communication devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smart phones are also at risk, as they can likewise store significant amounts of sensitive corporate data.

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