The cost of mobile data breaches in big companies

Mobile fear

A mobile data breach could cost a large enterprise over $25 million (£18 million) according to a new report.

The study of security and IT leaders in Global 2000 companies, carried out by mobile security specialist Lookout and the Ponemon Institute, examines the risk introduced by employees accessing increasing amounts of corporate data via their mobile devices.

The report finds that for an enterprise, the economic risk of mobile data breaches, including direct operational costs, as well as potential maximum loss from non-compliance and reputational damage, could be as high as $25.7 million (£18.2 million).

It also shows that mobile data breaches are more common than many may think. Two-thirds (67 percent) of organizations report having had a data breach as a result of employees using their mobile devices to access the company's sensitive and confidential information. With an average of three percent of employees' mobile devices infected with malware at any point in time, that could be more than 1,700 mobile devices, in a typical large organisation, connecting to an enterprise network everyday.

"The mobile workforce is dragging companies into a world where 24/7 access to cloud-based services from any location is a basic requirement. Employees demand flexibility. They want simultaneous access to work apps like Salesforce and personal apps like Facebook," says Gert-Jan Schenk, Vice President of Lookout EMEA. "When you talk to IT and security leaders, their number one concern is balancing mobility with security. It is critical that they get mobile security right from the outset, particularly in light of the financial and reputational consequences if they don't".

Another issue highlighted by the report is IT and security leaders’ underestimation of how mobile their employees have become. For example, on average IT believes that only 19 percent of employees can access customer records via mobile while 43 percent of employees say they have access. With the risk of mobile data breaches this visibility gap introduces unacceptable risk.

More details of the study are available on the Lookout website.

Image Credit: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock

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