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Mobile Workers Think Security Is IT's Job, Study Reveals




Mobile Workers Think Security Is IT's Job, Study Reveals
Mobile Workers Think Security Is IT's Job, Study Reveals



http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID 1801429 

By Sharon Gaudin
InformationWeek
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 
implementing:

    * 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.



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