By Sharon Gaudin
August 21, 2007
Wondering how users' machines keep getting all those nasty infections
and data keeps leaking out, despite all the defenses IT can erect?
A study released Tuesday by InsightExpress, an independent market
research firm, may shed some light on the problem.
Forty-four percent of mobile users questioned in a survey this spring
said they open e-mails and attachments from unknown or even suspicious
senders. The study also showed that one-third of mobile users access
unauthorized wireless connections, whether they're hijacking a
neighbors' wireless connection or using unsecured hotspots at a coffee
shop or in a public park.
The study was commissioned by Cisco Systems (CSCO) and the National
Cyber Security Alliance.
"Businesses are increasingly entrusting more and more employees with
access to corporate information anywhere outside of the office...," said
Ben Gibson, a director at Cisco, in a written release. "After all,
embracing mobility and truly leveraging the power it gives businesses --
agility, access, responsiveness, efficiency -- requires protecting and
educating employees to prevent them from undermining this value. This is
a role IT can and should play more proactively than they traditionally
have in the past."
According to the study, 73% of mobile users said they are not always
aware of security threats and best practices when working on the go.
Although many said they are "sometimes" aware, another 28% admitted they
"hardly ever" consider security risks and proper behavior. Some even
said they "never" consider safety best practices and didn't know they
needed to be aware of security risks.
When questioned about why they're so lax about wireless security, the
top answers included, "I'm busy and need to get work done," and "It's
IT's job, not mine."
InsightExpress surveyed 700 mobile workers in seven countries that have
widely adopted wireless technologies -- the United States, the United
Kingdom, Germany, China, India, South Korea, and Singapore.
Ron Teixeira, executive director of the National Cyber Security
Alliance, offered up several safety tips that IT shops should consider
* Use strong passwords that are changed every 90 days;
* Update anti-virus and anti-spyware programs regularly;
* Download necessary patches regularly;
* Backup all important files and data;
* Encrypt sensitive data, and
* Have an emergency response plan for wireless security breaches.
Attend HITBSecConf2007 - Malaysia
Taking place September 3-6 2007 featuring seven tracks of technical
training and a dual-track security conference with keynote speakers
Lance Spitzner and Mikko Hypponen! - Book your seats today!