There is a significant gap between what enterprises understand is putting them at risk with their mobile deployment and how actively they are taking steps to combat those risks, says BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), erstwhile global leader in enterprise mobile communications.
According to a study conducted by the firm, inadequately managed mobile devices in the workplace can contribute risk — yet there is a strong indication of enterprises not taking action to mitigate the risk which is evident. BlackBerry reports that 66 percent of those surveyed acknowledge they find it difficult to keep up with current and emerging mobile threats, while 70 percent of the same respondents say they know they are more tolerant of risk than they should be with their enterprise mobility. This increases to 76 percent in BYOD environments.
For organizations with governance, risk and compliance (GRC) demands, this gap leaves them vulnerable to attacks or industry regulation breaches that put them at financial and reputational risk. The survey found that only 35 percent of executives, risk compliance officers and IT managers within large organizations are very confident that their organization’s data assets are fully protected from unauthorized access via mobile devices. In fact, more than two-thirds believe that mobile devices are the weakest link in their enterprise security framework.
Respondents indicated that they have been too lax in assessing and guarding against risks such as lost or stolen devices, unapproved apps and cloud services, as well as inadequate separation of work and personal use of devices. Consequences in mishandling these issues could lead to immeasurable reputational damage, significant financial penalties and loss of revenue through the loss of trade secrets, or misappropriated customer data. These threats are so critical that 75 percent of those surveyed believe that their organization’s GRC groups should be more involved in developing enterprise mobility strategy.
“Deloitte’s clients face a wide range of complex issues when assessing the adoption of new technology. From Deloitte’s own research, we know that Digital Risk and in particular mobile technologies are of growing concern,” said Kieran Norton, Principal, Security & Privacy, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “As the technical capabilities of connected devices increase exponentially, so do the threats to devices, data and infrastructure as well as wider risks around issues such as regulatory compliance and operational support. While clients recognize the potential upside of mobile driven innovation, at this time we still see many companies grappling with the implications of mobile technologies and finding the ‘sweet spot’ where new business opportunities are exploited while managing risk and balancing the tradeoff between control and user experience.”
“It’s startlingly clear that mobile technology has transformed daily business faster than most businesses have been able to adapt,” said John Sims, President of Global Enterprise Services, BlackBerry. “Leaders at all levels of organizations around the world are realizing the very real gaps that exist in their technology infrastructure – and the potentially devastating consequences of a breach.”
The findings raise serious concerns about the risk of exposure faced by enterprises at a time when mobile challenges are growing. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported the number of data breaches their organization has experienced via mobile devices has increased in the last year, and 66 percent said that it is difficult for their organizations to keep up with emerging mobile trends and security threats.