Verizon Mobile Security index

Forty-nine percent of businesses have said that changes to remote working practices made during lockdown adversely affected their cybersecurity and 40% of businesses recognised that mobile devices are their company’s biggest IT security threat, reveals The Verizon Business Mobile Security Index (MSI) 2021.

However, 45% of businesses sacrificed the security of mobile devices to “get the job done,” according to the study based on an independent survey of 856 professionals responsible for the buying, managing and the security of mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices for their companies.

“Interestingly, even though 40% of businesses surveyed recognized that mobile devices are their company’s biggest IT security threat, 45% of them knowingly sacrificed the security of mobile devices to get the job done (e.g., meet a deadline or productivity targets) and nearly a quarter (24%) sacrificed the security of mobile devices to facilitate their response to restrictions put in place due to the pandemic,” Sampath Sowmyanarayan, Chief Revenue Officer at Verizon Business said.

Sowmyanarayan added, “The pandemic caused a global shift in the way organizations to operate, many of which ramped up their digital transformation agendas and working models to meet the fast-changing needs of both employees and customers. While businesses focused their efforts elsewhere, cybercriminals saw a wealth of new opportunities to strike. With the rise of the remote workforce and the spike in mobile device usage, the threat the landscape changed, which for organizations, means there is a greater need to hone in on mobile security to protect themselves and those they serve.”

The effect of the pandemic on the workforce is going to have a lasting impact. According to the report, a large majority (70%) of those that had seen remote working grow following the introduction of pandemic restrictions expected it to fall again afterwards. However, 78% said that it would still remain higher than before lockdown. “Overall, our respondents said that they expected the number of remote workers to settle at around half (49%),” he also informed.

“Small and Medium-Sized Businesses are also Under Threat”

According to The Verizon Business Mobile Security Index (MSI) 2021, over half of those surveyed (52%) said that small and medium-sized businesses are more of a target than larger enterprises but even though this is the case, 59% of small and medium-sized businesses had sacrificed security with 22% suffering a mobile compromise. Seventy-eight percent stated that they should take mobile-device security more seriously.

“Security should Always be Front and Centre”

Of those surveyed, 72% of organisations are worried about device abuse or misuse. Part of the problem is that many companies struggle to develop an effective Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) — 57% did not have one at all. The MSI details people and behaviours, apps, devices and things and networks and cloud as the four sectors of the mobile threat landscape. Additionally, it provides expert insights into how to help safeguard against pending cybercrime attacks, such as establishing a “zero-trust network access (ZTNA)” model and a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture, which is designed for a mobile-first and cloud-first world.

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