• Mobile security: Why you should sweat the small stuff

Mobile security: Why you should sweat the small stuff 

June 04, 2018

As someone who sells mobile security solutions, I look forward to Verizon’s annual mobile security report to get the latest research on the mobile threat landscape. The 2018 Verizon Mobility Security Index Report revealed some especially alarming conclusions that every mobile security professional should be aware of. For instance:

  • 93% of respondents recognized that mobile devices present a serious and growing threat.
  • 83% agreed that organizations are complacent about mobile security, and 24% of those strongly agreed.
  • Now is the time to get ahead of the potential dangers and make sure that your business is protected.

This means that organizations know to some extent that mobile threats are serious and real, but they aren’t proactively responding to them. What may seem like minor security issues, such as a lost device or a weak password here and there, are either ignored or put on someone’s to-do list. But as we all know, smaller (and more easily manageable) problems can quickly balloon into larger problems that are harder and more expensive to solve.

Proactive vs. procrastination: Learn from my mistakes

In a perfect world, we all know that being proactive saves time, money, and effort down the road. But sometimes we choose to ignore our own advice, as in my case recently. I once had a nice yard full of tall green fescue grass. I didn’t notice any obvious problems until one day a lawn care representative came to my door to discuss a small brown patch of invasive fungi he noticed on my lawn. Without treatment, he said, it would likely spread and become harder to cure later. I politely said “thanks but no thanks” to his lawn care offer and shut the door. Today, just a few months after that visit, I learned the very hard way that what looks like a small problem can rapidly spread into a big one if ignored. The initial brown patch, which was only about the size of a dinner plate, looks like this today.

Ugly lawn

What does my ugly lawn have to do with mobile security?

Remember how 83% of respondents believe that organizations are complacent about mobile security? How would you assess your organization’s mobile security efforts — is your team proactive, procrastinating, or somewhere in the middle? In the Verizon report, many survey respondents agreed about the need to take action but felt their organizations did not implement even the most basic mobile security controls.

While having an unsightly lawn may be embarrassing and put me on the wrong side of my HOA, the risk of ignoring mobile security threats is truly serious. Mobile security risks, such as weak passwords, non-compliant devices, or BYOD users who share business files with unauthorized apps, can quickly snowball into a catastrophic security breach. If you haven’t done so already, download the Verizon report and share it with your team. That might be the perfect — and proactive! — catalyst to start the conversation about mobile security in your organization.