Smartphone Users Admit to Accessing Company Networks

Sue Marquette Poremba
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Smartphone Security Gaps

Employees are at risk for viruses and other security breaches, so IT staff need to be just as vigilant with company-issued phones accessing the network as they are with computers.

Yesterday, I heard an interview on NPR involving a woman and smartphone. After accessing her work-related e-mail account on her smartphone, someone from IT killed her phone. Everything was wiped clean remotely. It was apparently a mistake, but the woman said she learned her lesson and wouldn't be accessing her work information on her smartphone anymore.


This woman is part of a growing, but risky, trend. A recent Juniper Networks survey found that 81 percent of smartphone users admitted to accessing their employer's network without permission. The survey stated:

Almost 44 percent of respondents use their devices for both personal and business purposes, while fewer than 4 percent use them strictly for business. If business IT leaders think they can keep the devices at bay, 81 percent admit using their devices to access their employer's network without their employer's knowledge or permission-and 58 percent do so every single day.

The survey revealed that people are thinking about security when they buy smartphones, which is a good thing, but the enterprise needs to do a better job at recognizing the level of unauthorized access to corporate networks and developing a plan to protect the network from smartphone users. This article in Forbes highlighted the importance for IT security departments to take a closer look at smartphone-related security issues:

The survey shows three out of four people use their mobile device to share or access sensitive or personal data. And given the sophistication of attack vectors, every morsel of personal information fed to hackers gets them closer to gaming security. What's even more startling, the very definition of a hacker is changing-the architects behind some recent attacks have been hobbyists, who in a few hours could penetrate corporate security defenses.

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