Healthcare executives fear more hacks

86 percent of executives in verticals such as healthcare, government and financial services, worry about potential hacks. Half of them believe they will experience more security breaches through mobile devices, while 44 percent fear security will prevent employees from being productive . These are some results from a global research initiative conducted by BlackBerry (secure mobile Communications).

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The survey finds that despite extensive resources dedicated to mobile security, many IT decision-makers remain concerned about the level of vulnerabilities that persist. The study surveyed 1,000 executives from seven countries across a wide range of vertical industries. An important conclusion is that there exists a big gap between the perceived need to implement mobile security against cyber threats and unwillingness to put into place such a strategy because of fear for lower employee productivity.

The survey reveals that 73 percent of organizations have a mobile security strategy in place, but only three percent say they have implemented the highest levels of security possible. This is in part because of user attitudes – 82 percent of the executives admit mobile security precautions cause at least some frustration among employees, and potentially hinder productivity. Overall, 44 percent fear that too much mobile security will prevent employees from doing their job.

This fear of implementing a stronger mobile environment led to 86 percent of executives who said they are worried about the level of protection for their organization, with half saying they will experience more security breaches through mobile devices. Part of the reason organizations are opening themselves up to these risks is because of the growing trend of BYOD – where despite the popularity, almost half believe that supporting a BYOD policy is a risk.

A critical element to a successful BYOD or COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) mobile environment is ensuring the isolation and separation of personal and business mobile data, also known as containerization. However, nearly 45 percent have no containerization technology in place, BlackBerry states.

“The frequency and severity of malicious attacks have made mobile security the center of attention for CEOs and boards of directors, but doing enough to mitigate risk is still a persistent problem that needs to be solved,” says David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer at BlackBerry. “This is especially true as the constant adoption of new technologies regularly brings the potential for new vulnerabilities, which can offset the benefits.”

Many BlackBerry customers say that security policies can be perceived as a hindrance. However, senior executives in every function, and even in the boardroom, need to forcefully communicate that effective mobile security enhances productivity instead of obstructing it, Kleidermacher adds.

The research also shows that nearly half of organizations do not have a Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) in place, despite the fact that SIRT is an industry best practice to reduce the cost of data breaches. IT decision-makers also want and seek outside help when it comes to securing their mobile environments. Of those surveyed, 59 percent report that external expertise is the best option for reviewing mobile practices. 

When looking at specific verticals, the healthcare sector shows no extremes when it comes to matters such as mobile device management strategy or the idea mobile security is more of a hindrance than a benefit.

4 in 10 organisations have a mobile device management stratey. Many fear it is insufficiënt:

  • Financial services: 44 percent
  • Government: 52 percent
  • Healthcare: 37 percent
  • Legal: 54 percent

47 percent believe popular BYOD policies leave the company vulnerable to too many risks:

  • Financial services: 55 percent
  • Healthcare: 50 percent
  • Government: 43 percent
  • Legal: 53 percent

73 percent see mobile security controls as either an “obstruction” or a “complete obstruction:

  • Financial services: 78 percent
  • Healthcare: 78 percent
  • Government: 85 percent
  • Legal: 94 percent

There is however, a general agreement that a strong mobile security posture can offer great benefits:

  • 67 percent say their data is more secure
  • 64 percent see increased mobility for employees
  • 51 percent have experienced fewer security breaches
  • 50 percent find it easier to comply with regulations
  • Enhanced compliance is a benefit for financial services (55 percent), healthcare (54 percent) and IT/computer services (65 percent).

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