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Small businesses dismiss mobile risks, overlooking ‘BYOD’ threats: Kaspersky

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mobileMany small-business owners believe BYOD (bring-your-own-device) poses no threat to their company and have no interest in spending effort on mobile device security, while employees themselves think security is the responsibility of the business, according to a study by Kaspersky Lab.

A total of 6,219 respondents from 21 countries, including India with 299 respondents, took part in this year’s All participants answered questions concerning the main obstacles they faced when building and maintaining a reliable IT infrastructure. Respondents also answered questions about the resources they use to learn about data protection and how they choose their IT solutions.

With the study showing that two-thirds (62%) of business owners and employees now use personal mobile devices for work, BYOD is no longer a developing trend, but a widely accepted business practice. It affects companies of all sizes, from the very large (5000+ employees) to the small (fewer than 25 employees).

In India, many users of free products have upgraded to a paid-for home solution due to their desire for increased security. However, they were unwilling to pay for a more expensive and complicated business solution. This change is partly the result of a new trend in flexible business operations: offices have become remote and people are increasingly working with their own devices. There may therefore be no reason for a business to buy a complex and expensive solution if employees already have solutions at home. The employer simply needs to permit them to work at home and use home computers.

However, attitudes towards protecting the information security of these devices often leave much to be desired. The consumer security risks survey found that 92% of respondents say that they keep sensitive corporative data on smartphones and tablets which they use for both work and personal activities. Six in 10 (60%) are concerned about the threat of surveillance and information theft via mobile devices, but they do not actively protect themselves and rely on their employers to do so.

As for employers and small-business owners, a third (32%) sees absolutely no danger to their business in staff using personal mobile devices for work. The risk of data theft from an employee’s mobile device is not a pressing concern for them, so they do not pay much attention to it. However, representatives of larger businesses are more concerned about employees losing their mobile devices: 58% fear that the theft or loss of a device could damage the company.

Representatives of smaller businesses, who tend to be less interested in specific protection for mobile devices, believe that the basic security tools offered within free solutions should be sufficient. They don’t see any added value in spending extra money on dedicated solutions. More than 80% of respondents were not interested in information about managing the information security of mobile devices.

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