November 05, 2007
Research Finds Mobile Workforce Creating More Security Challenges
By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor
As today's workforce becomes increasingly mobile, security challenges have also increased.
According to the latest research from Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA (News - Alert)), this increased "mobile nature" is in fact creating new security challenges for information technology (IT) staff.
Chief among these security concerns is the theft of confidential information. As more and more mobile workers make their way out of the office and carry with them laptop computers and other hand held devices, the risk of data theft is even greater.
In fact according to a CompTIA survey of 1,070 organizations, 60 percent said handheld device security issues relating to data access and transfer have increased over the past 12 months. Also, 55 percent of the respondents said that security issues with WiFi networks are on the rise.
The study also surprisingly uncovered that of the almost 80 percent of the organizations allowing their mobile employees to access data remotely, only 32 percent of them have implemented security awareness training for employees, with only 10 percent having plans to offer such training in the next year.
"The increasing pervasiveness of remote access to confidential data and applications by mobile employees, and the implementation of wireless networks, are raising the stakes for corporate IT departments," said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA in a statement to the press. "As access extends beyond the four walls of the organization to satellite offices, home-based workers and mobile employees, each remote connection or access point is another potential security vulnerability that must be secured."
Venator also commented on the risks of not offering security training to mobile workforce in reducing security breaches:
"Organizations that do not train their mobile workers in security fundamentals are doing themselves a great disservice," Venator said. "Nearly 90 percent of organizations that have implemented awareness training for remote and mobile workers believe that the number of security breaches they've encountered has been reduced."