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42 percent of Singapore businesses lack basic mobile security policies: Aruba Networks

Zafirah Salim | May 25, 2015
This finding is especially worrying following the rise of #GenMobile, which refers to a “new generation of workers who bring unique work habits with them, as they blend work and personal activities on the same device,” according to James Chia of Aruba Networks.

Following this finding, Chia emphasized on the importance of "user education" to address the issue of security oblivion among employees and raise their security awareness. According to Chia, user education must be done in a top-down approach within an organisation. "IT managers must first be aware of these risks and threats, and treat them seriously before it leads to a disaster. In addition, simple in-person and online training can help raise the awareness of good versus risky behaviour," he said.

The last trend highlighted in the study is the rise of self-empowerment. In Singapore, 61 percent said that they will disobey their boss to get something done, while 55 percent of them said mobile technologies enable them to be more productive and engaged. A significant 82 percent of the Singapore respondents also said that they are willing to perform self-service IT.

Spotting the risky individual

According to Aruba Networks, the chasm that is exposed between age, gender, income level, industry and geographic location has a direct effect on the security of corporate data.

In terms of gender, men in Singapore (26 percent) are more likely than women to have lost personal and client data due to smartphone misuse. Similarly, men are also slightly more prone to identity theft at 17 percent.

Meanwhile, respondents over the age of 55 in Singapore are half as likely to experience identity theft or loss of personal and client data compared to younger employees. In fact, it is found that the age group with the highest propensity of data and identity theft are employees between 25 to 34 years old.

Lastly, employees in Singapore who earn more than US$60,000 are 15 times more likely to have lost company financial data, and about 12 times more likely to have lost personal data; compared to those earning less than US$18,000. This group of people is also 25 percent more likely to give out their device password for money, according to the study.

In essence, Aruba Networks believe that the higher-earning younger males in Singapore, particularly those from the finance industry, pose the greatest risk to enterprise data security.

Businesses lacking adaptability

The study suggests that businesses in Singapore may not be prepared for what lies ahead with almost half (42 percent) not having any type of basic mobile security policy in place. In addition, 14 percent of employees in Singapore do not use password protection on their devices, indicating that employers are not enforcing some basic security practices.

"Everyone who brings his or her personal device to work is a potential risk to the organisation. Putting automated policies and enforcement in place can help curtail risky behavior," said Chia. "Mobile device management tools can also be used to ensure that devices contain password/s, are not using blacklisted apps and are not jail broken. Policy management and traffic inspection can ensure that access privileges and usage patterns meet company standards."

 

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