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British firms 'not taking mobile security seriously', says Samsung

Lack of visibility of mobile losses and thefts

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British businesses are not taking mobile security as seriously as they should, according to research from Samsung UK.

Trends from the study show that businesses are striving to encourage employees to work from the office or remotely, with 75 percent confirming that mobile devices are connected to their corporate network.

Yet, with the rise of mobile and flexible working, security breaches are increasingly commonplace, and businesses are opening themselves up to unnecessary risk, according to Samsung, which is behind the Knox security effort for Android.

It says 11 percent of businesses have incurred costs of more than £25,000 due to security incidents in the last year. And a quarter of businesses (25 percent) have incurred costs of more than £15,000 over the last year following mobile security incidents. If organisations lose personal data on mobile devices they can be fined up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office, for the most serious breaches.

The research relied on responses from 180 IT managers and chief technology officers at medium- to large-sized companies across a range of UK businesses. It found security breaches are increasingly common place, with roughly one in two companies (47 percent) having had a company handset lost or stolen over the last 12 months. And 7 percent say they have had over 200 handsets lost or stolen.

Samsung says mobile security however is not taken seriously, with a third (30 percent) of firms not knowing how many mobile handsets were lost or stolen last year, and over a third (34 percent) not knowing how many mobile security incidents in general their business suffered last year.

And this is despite 18 percent of businesses reporting that up to five times more devices now connect to their corporate network when compared with two years ago.

Supporting flexible working seems to be a priority over mobile security, with only 9 percent of firms believing improving mobile security is more important than facilitating flexible working.

Graham Long, vice president of the enterprise business team at Samsung UK and Ireland, said, "Businesses need to make sure their security keeps up with the increasing use of mobile devices. With more and more employees using their own personal smartphones and tablets for work, neglecting security can be a very expensive mistake to make.

"The challenge for businesses and IT decision makers is to embrace new ways of working but also to ensure all devices are highly secure and efficient."


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